Ningxia shows off its ancient heritage in rare display

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-07-19 07:27:20

Ningxia shows off its ancient heritage in rare display

A rubbing of a solar deity is among exhibits at the ongoing rock art show in Beijing. Photos by Wang Kaihao / China Daily

On Friday, when the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape in southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region was added to UNESCO's world heritage list, an exhibition in Beijing kicked off to show people its cousin in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.

Ancient Echo: The Special Exhibition of Ningxia Rock Art opened in the capital's Overseas Chinese Museum of China, and will run through Sept 15.

About 60 rubbings and ancient stone carvings from the Helan Mountains are on display.

A rubbing of a solar deity is a highlight of the show, says Zuo Changying, the deputy director of the Ningxia Rock Art Research Center, China's only provincial-level entity dedicated to the study of rock art.

There are also pieces on hunting, rituals and the breeding of animals.

The earliest art can be roughly dated to 10,000 years ago in the late Paleolithic Age, but a unanimous conclusion has yet to be reached due to difficulties in judging the age of rock art.

Some experts believe that the art is from the Bronze Age, which is at least 6,000 years later.

Weighing in on the age issue, Zuo says: "Unlike ancient tombs where there are often funeral articles that can be used as references, rock art leaves little information for us."

She also says that some patterns found in the rock art are similar to those discovered in Mesopotamia.

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