October 9 1999 - January 9 2000
So began a series of scientific exchanges between Alberta and Heilongjiang. In 1993, the Provincial Museum of Alberta was one of the very first western institutions (along with Harvard and Berkeley Universities) to sign a co-operative research agreement with Chinese agencies. The agreement led to Sino-Canadian field excavations in 1993 and 1996 at the site of Xue Tian, which is between 40,000 and 50,000 years of age. Xue Tian has yielded traces of human presence along with an abundant Ice Age fauna (including woolly mammoth and rhinoceros, bison, horse and hyena).
Although the original focus of this collaboration involved very ancient times, Heilongjiang colleagues frequently showed their Alberta counterparts remarkable finds from northeastern China's more recent archaeological past. In this climate of friendship and mutual trust was born the idea for an exhibit of Manchurian history.
Negotiations for the Black Dragon exhibition began in 1996. The formal agreement for the exhibition was approved by the Cultural Relics Bureau of Beijing, and signed by Heilongjiang and Alberta officials in June of 1998.
The artifacts featured in this exhibition came from the collections of the Heilongjiang Provincial Museum and the Archaeological Institute of Heilongjiang. They had never been viewed outside Asia, and in the case of the Qi Guo Wang tomb silks, had never been exhibited outside of China.
Copyright © 1999-2006 Royal Alberta Museum
Last Review/Update -- October 12 2006