"Some inconspicuous artifacts, once unearthed and cleaned, can transport me back across time as I touch them. It's as though I were in the same space with ancient people who lived millions of years ago."
This is what Xu Danyang, a young member of the Communist Party of China responsible for excavation of the No. 4 sacrificial pit at the Sanxingdui ruins site in Deyang, Sichuan province, says of his perception of his job.
Archaeology used to be a field few university students wanted to study, Xu says. However, discoveries at Sanxingdui have changed people's preconceptions, and the site has attracted international attention.
The increasing popularity of Sanxingdui is a good thing, Xu says. Bronze ware and gold decorations unearthed there have given people fresh glimpses of the ancient Shu Kingdom, illustrating the inclusiveness of Chinese civilization.
Speaking of the pit team, Xu says more than half the members were born in the 1990s. The process of excavation entails meticulous teamwork, and everyone performs their duties extremely conscientiously.
"Archaeology involves long-term devotion, and one does not expect quick success or instant rewards. So patience is a must. The infinite nature of human history can be reflected as one connects seemingly insignificant discoveries."