Exhibition “Historical Imprints of Lingnan: Major Archaeological Discoveries of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao” opens at the Macao Museum

Date of publication: 30/09/2014
Type: Exhibition

Following the exhibition “Maritime Porcelain Road – Relics from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao”, the Department of Culture of Guangdong Province, the Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong S.A.R. Government and the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government (IC, from the Portuguese acronym) organize once again an itinerant exhibition titled “Historical Imprints of Lingnan: Major Archaeological Discoveries of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao”, thereby making known the successes of the archaeological works held in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao as well as showing the results of the three regions’ joint efforts within the context of the cultural cooperation meetings. Having been respectively held at the Guangdong Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of History, the opening ceremony of the exhibition at the Macao Museum took place on 25 September, Thursday, at 6pm, at the Museum lobby. The exhibition runs from 26 September until 11 January, 2015, on the 3rd floor.   

Present in the opening ceremony were Vice Director of the Department of Culture of Guangdong Province, Mr. Yang Weishi, Undersecretary of Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Mrs. Florence Hui Hiu-fai, President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government, Mr. Ung Vai Meng, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Public Diplomacy and Information of the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao SAR, Mr. Li Xiaoquan, Head of Department of Cultural Activities and Recreation of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Mr. Choi Chi Hong.

This exhibition displays more than four hundred archaeological artefacts from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, from the Stone and Bronze Ages, going through the Qin Dynasty and the era of the Southern Han Kingdom, up to the Song and Ming Dynasties, allowing visitors to get a better understanding of the glorious civilizational history of the Lingnan region.

The first part, about the Stone Age, presents objects unearthed in Lingnan’s archaeological sites, namely stone and bone – locally easily accessible materials– handmade tools and ceramic pieces used in daily life. The region’s inhabitants subsisted on gathering food, hunting and fishing, having a rich maritime culture lifestyle, an example of which can be found in Macao, at the Hac Sa archaeological site in Coloane. During the Bronze Age, although Lingnan was not under the rule of the Central Plains rulers, the excavated bronze items displayed at the exhibition show traces of cultural influences from those areas, which suggests that the technology for making bronze tools had already reached the region. The third part of the exhibition relates to the dispatch of troops and the conquest of Lingnan by the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty in 214 BC, who subsequently divided the region into three sections – Nanhai, Guilin and Xiang – ruled through a centralized authoritarian system. From then on and until the era of the Southern Han Kingdom, the social, cultural and external trade development of the Lingnan region witnesses unprecedented growth. The fourth and last part of the exhibition concerns the Song and Ming Dynasties, mainly presenting porcelain objects discovered in the three regions. With the discovery of various kilns, wrecked ships and archaeological land sites dated from the Song Dynasty, a large quantity of export porcelain objects were found, which bear witness to the prosperity and development of maritime transportation and trade in the South China Sea. Macao was, at the time, an important transit port in the porcelain maritime route, revealing the significant role played by the Lingnan region in the commercial exchange between China and the West.
During the exhibition period, the Macao Museum organizes three lectures, two in Cantonese and one in Mandarin: “Main Achievements and Characteristics of Lingnan’s Archaeological Excavations” (in Cantonese), having as guest speaker the Director of the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Chau Hing Wah; “Reconstructing Lingnan’s Ancient History – Guangdong’s Great Archaeological Discoveries” (in Mandarin), led by the Director of the Guangdong Museum, Wei Jun; and “Macao’s Recent Archaeological Works and Its Results” (in Cantonese), counting on a representative from the Cultural Heritage Department of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chio Ut Hong, as main speaker. Lectures will take place on 27 September, 8 November and 6 December (Saturdays), respectively, from 3pm to 6pm, at the Macao Museum Conference Hall, and are open to the public. For reservations, please call Ms. Lei on 8394 1231 during office hours.

In addition to the lectures, a replica of an archaeological site and multimedia guided tour devices will be displayed and available in the educational area, on the 3rd floor of the Museum, allowing visitors to experience this kind of work in more detail as well as grasp the results achieved in the past years in terms of archaeological exploration technology and archaeological heritage protection in the Lingnan region.

The Macao Museum opens daily from 10 am to 6 pm (ticket booth closes at 5.30 pm), closed on Mondays. For more information on this exhibition and other activities, please call 2835 7911 during office hours or access the websites www.macaumuseum.gov.mo or www.icm.gov.mo.