Rowan Flad, the John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology at the Harvard Anthropology Department, led seven Harvard students and four faculty members on a research trip to Chengdu, China from March 18 to 23. An experienced archaeologist, Professor Flad has conducted extensive fieldwork in China for over twenty years. His research focuses on the emergence and development of complex society during the late Neolithic period and the Bronze Age in China. At Harvard, Professor Flad has taught on a variety of subjects, including the archaeology of ancient China, archaeological theory, and archaeology of ritual and religion.
 
Led by Professor Flad, the group spent one week visiting various archaeological sites and museums, participating in lectures, and exchanging ideas with current students and faculty from Sichuan University. The students, all of whom are archaeology majors at Harvard, had the opportunity to learn about major archaeological discoveries in the Chengdu Plain from experts in the field. The Sanxingdui site, one of the highlights of the trip, has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. According to Paul Dominic, one of the Harvard students on the trip: “It’s just an incredible experience being in the environment, seeing everything around, and feeling what it would have been like to be here.”
 
Organized by the staff and faculty at both Harvard and Sichuan University, the research trip grew out of the collaborative partnership between Harvard University’s Fairbank Center and the West China Research Center (WCRC) at Sichuan University established in 2016. The success of the trip anticipates more collaborative programs between the two institutions in the future.
 
Watch a report of the trip below:

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies