The School of Archaeology at Jilin University (JLU) is one of the largest departments for archaeology, museology and cultural heritage studies in China. With its glorious history and noble traditions, the school is striving to make JLU archaeology one of the World-Class Disciplines.
JLU’s teaching and research activities in archaeology may date back to the mid-1950s. The first bachelor program in archaeology was established in 1972, with Professor Zhang Zhongpei as its principal, and began to enroll undergraduate students in the following year. In 1981, JLU became one of the first batch of universities authorized to confer doctorate in archaeology by the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council.
In 1983, Professor Yu Xingwu, Professor Jin Jingfang and Professor Zhang Zhongpei established the Institute of Ancient Books. The undergraduate program in Museology was launched in May 1985. Soon afterwards, the Laboratory of Northern China Archaeology in Jilin University was set up in 1986.
Founded independently in 1987, the Department of Archaeology was co-located with the Institute of Ancient Books. In 1995, archaeology and museology, the two time-honoured subjects in Jilin University, were declared as key disciplines of Jilin Province in China. In the same year, the department was selected as the National Personnel Training Base for Basic Scientific Research (history). In 1998, the department was authorized to confer doctorate in history, and listed as the Special Subject Station of the National Fund for Fostering Talents in Basic Science. In 1999, the renowned Chinese Frontier Archaeology Research Center was established on the foundation of the Laboratory of Northern China Archaeology, and was approved as the Key Research Base of Humanities and Social Sciences by the Ministry of Education in 2000. As of this year, the department also offers a post-doctoral research station in history. Subsequently, JLU archaeology was listed in the “Project 211”, China’s National Key Discipline Construction Plan.
The Department of Archaeology was incorporated into the College of Humanities in 2001, including two disciplines of archaeology and museology. Supported by abundant resources and expertise from wide-ranging backgrounds, the “Chinese Frontier History and Geography Innovation Base” was built in 2005, and was announced as the “Project 985” National Innovation Base of Philosophy and Social Science. Two years later, the two subjects of Jilin University were added to the list of the National Key Disciplines. School of Archaeology ranked the second in the China Discipline Ranking of the Ministry of Education in 2012. In 2017, JLU archaeology was selected in China’s “Double First-Class” Initiative.
The School of Archaeology was officially launched in 2018, integrating the Department of Archaeology, the Department of Museology, Chinese Frontier Archaeology Research Center and Institute of Ancient Books of the College of Humanities, with Professor Zhao Binfu as its dean.
The School of Archaeology is globally recognized for the excellence of its teaching and research. As home to expertise from a broad range of academic backgrounds, there are 78 faculty members in the School, including 57 full-time faculty members, among which there are 35 professors, 13 associate professors and 9 lecturers. The School offers academic degrees at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels. It has thus formed a six-in-one teaching and research system of “Chinese Archaeology, Foreign Archaeology, Archaeometry, Palaeography, Cultural Heritage Studies and Museum Studies”.
The School has continuously been committed to promoting Chinese archaeology to the world, constructing an international platform for academic exchange, and endeavoring to achieve the goal of “First-Class Discipline”.
International Collaboration and Exchanges
The School of Archaeology enjoys close links with Durham University, UK, Columbia University, USA, Pittsburgh University, USA, Oregon University, USA, Simon Fraser University, Canada, Tokyo University, Japan, Kyushu University, Japan, Hebrew University, Israel and other universities from abroad. These long-term partnerships together shape a lively and diverse international community for further collaboration and communication. The school holds 2-3 international symposiums every year. It also offers great opportunities for its students and staff to study abroad and participate in international academic conferences. In addition, the National College Student Archaeology Forum and the Summer School in Human Skeleton Archaeology are held every year, which have already allowed over 300 undergraduate students to experience a great variety of academic activities and archaeological practices.