China, Tunisia start joint archaeological excavation

(Xinhua) 13:21, November 10, 2023

TUNIS, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- A joint archaeological excavation operation has been carried out in Tunisia's Ben Arous Forest archaeological site since the end of October, Yu Fei, head of the Chinese operation team, said on Thursday.

Yu, who is from China's national archaeological research center under the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA), told Xinhua that the excavation site is located in the 12,000-square-meter forest area of Ben Arous province, which used to be a settlement site from the Carthage period to the ancient Roman period.

The operation consists of three parts: regional systematic survey, exploration, and excavation. The first two stages are currently progressing smoothly, and personnel will be organized to conduct on-site excavations soon, said Yu.

This joint operation is of great significance to help the research of ancient civilizations and strengthen culture exchanges between the two countries, Yu added.

Nizar Ben Slimene, head of the Tunisian team, said this is the first time that Tunisia and China have cooperated in archaeological excavation, which is a breakthrough in cultural cooperation between the two sides.

"Archaeologists from both sides will learn a lot from this operation," Slimene said, expecting that this joint operation serves as a starting point, and that the two sides will further work together to carry out more joint operations at other sites.

The site was discovered and immediately protected during the construction of the China-aided Ben Arous Sports and Cultural Center for Youth in 2019.

A joint archaeological cooperation agreement to conduct archaeological investigation, excavation, and protection of this site was signed by China and Tunisia in June 2023.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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