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Student Name - Ms. Ni Zin Phoo , Student ID - 6318211

1. Introduction of cultural heritage

Cultural Heritage is an expression of the ways of living developed by a community

and passed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects,
artistic expressions and values. Cultural Heritage is often expressed as either Intangible or
Tangible Cultural Heritage (ICOMOS, 2002). As part of human activity Cultural Heritage
produces tangible representations of the value systems, beliefs, traditions and lifestyles. As an
essential part of culture as a whole, Cultural Heritage, contains these visible and tangible traces
form antiquity to the recent past. Cultural Heritage is a wide concept. We prefer to concentrate
on the similarities between the various heritages sectors, instead of on their differences. Three
types of cultural heritage are distinguished as below:

 Built Environment (Buildings, Townscapes, Archaeological remains)

 Natural Environment (Rural landscapes, Coasts and shorelines, Agricultural heritage)
 Artefacts (Books & Documents, Objects, Pictures)

In cultural heritage, there are tangible and intangible and natural cultural heritage.

(1.1) Tangible cultural heritage

Tangible Cultural Heritage‟ refers to physical artefacts produced, maintained and
transmitted intergenerationally in a society. It includes artistic creations, built heritage such as
buildings and monuments, and other physical or tangible products of human creativity that are
invested with cultural significance in a society.

(1.2) Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible Cultural Heritage‟ indicates „the practices, representations, expressions,

knowledge, skills – as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated
there with – that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their
Cultural Heritage‟ (UNESCO, 2003). Examples of intangible heritage are oral traditions,
performing arts, local knowledge, and traditional skills.

(1.3) Natural features habitats

Natural features, geological and physiographical formations and delineated areas are
constituted with the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants and natural sites of
value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty. It includes nature parks
and reserves, zoos, aquaria and botanical gardens. (UNESCO, 1972).
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2. Traditional Chinese cultural heritage

In China, the word “culture” which is “wehua” in Chinese has existed since ancient
time. The original meaning of “wen” referred to the weaving of colors, ornamentation and
articles and “hua” is defined as variation, formation and creation. There is a saying that, “all
things on earth are given birth and foster growth,” so the meaning of “hua” extended to
transformation, indoctrination and cultivation. The conception of “culture” in ancient China
can be categorized into spiritual civilization, often corresponding to “armed force,” “Kungfu”
and others. These definitions contain positive idealism that demonstrate the gentle and strict
way the country is governed, embracing politics and ethics. In addition, ancestors used the
word “culture” as a verb, symbolizing a method and proposal of governing society. It was not
only opposed to but also linked to the conquest of armed forces, which included the strategy of
“trying fair means before using force” and “making policy and military achievements.” Some
definitions also include the traditional culture of China which includes food, customs and
various traditions. Since ancient times, China has been known as the “Celestial Empire.” This
refers not only to China‟s strength and position as East Asia‟s Middle Kingdom; it also
captures a more profound meaning, describing a land where the divine and mortal once
coexisted. It refers to the belief that the divine, through various dynasties, transmitted a rich
and abundant culture to the Chinese people. Chinese culture is thus known as “divinely
inspired,” and is the only culture in the world to have a continuous recorded history of 5,000
years. It has left behind countless literary classics, historical documents, cultural relics, and
national records reflecting its immense scope.
Chinese culture is said to have begun with the Yellow Emperor, over 5,000 years ago.
He was a cultivator of the Tao (or the Way), and was said to have great power and wisdom. He
taught his subjects how to live in accordance with the heavenly Way. Ancient Chinese legends
speak of many deities who passed on to humans essential elements of culture. For example,
Cangjie created Chinese characters, Shennong imparted agriculture, and Suiren revealed the
uses of fire. Taoist thought, considered a wellspring of Chinese culture, was systemized by the
sage Lao Zi over 2,500 years ago in his book Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching). The book expounds
on the mysterious Way of the universe, which he calls the Tao. In 67 C.E., Buddhism reached
China from ancient India. Its focus on personal salvation and meditation had a profound effect
on Chinese culture, lasting until today. It was during the Tang Dynasty (618 C.E.–907 C.E.)
that religious practice in China reached its peak, an era often seen as the pinnacle of Chinese
Under the influence of these faiths, Chinese culture has generated a rich and profound
system of values. The concepts of “man and nature must be in balance,” “respect the heavens
to know one‟s destiny,” and the five cardinal virtues of benevolence, righteousness, propriety,
Student Name - Ms. Ni Zin Phoo , Student ID - 6318211

wisdom, and faithfulness (ren yi li zhi xin) are all products of these three religions‟ teachings.
These principles have constantly played out over China‟s 5,000-year-long history.
The traditional culture of China is representative of the development of Chinese
civilization and the ideas that have governed society throughout history. It is considered a
culture that was created by all Chinese people living in China since its inception. There are
many characteristics of Chinese culture highlighted below:
1. Inheritance: Passed down from generation to generation, traditional Chinese
culture has changed in the past few centuries, but has continued without
significant change. The people have inherited a distinctive way of thinking
throughout generations despite the changes in the environment.
2. National characteristics: Chinese traditional culture is often considered peculiar to
others as it is different from other cultures.
3. Long history: Chinese traditional culture has a long history that spans 5,000 years.
4. Extensive and profound culture: The term “extensive” refers to the amount of
information and cultural artifacts available to trace the long history of the country,
while “profound” explains the culture‟s effect on observers. Although a visitor
cannot truly see all of China‟s history through visiting some areas, they will gain
more understanding of Chinese culture through their interactions and connection
with the people and the places they go.
Chinese culture (simplified Chinese: 中华文化; traditional Chinese: 中華文化; pinyin: Zhōnghuá
wénhuà) is one of the world's oldest cultures, originating thousands of years ago. The area in
which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in East Asia with customs
and traditions varying greatly between provinces, cities, and even towns as well.
With China being one of the earliest ancient civilizations, Chinese culture is extremely diverse
and varying, and it has a profound effect in the philosophy, virtue, etiquette and traditions
of Asia to date. Chinese culture is if considered the dominant culture in East Asia, as it was the
civilization that held the most dominant influence in the region that laid out the cultural groundwork
for East Asian civilization.
Chinese language, ceramics, architecture, music, dance, literature, martial arts, cuisine, visual
arts, philosophy, business etiquette, religion, politics and history have a profound impact on the
world, while its traditions and festivals are also celebrated, instilled and practiced by people
around Asia.
Student Name - Ms. Ni Zin Phoo , Student ID - 6318211

3. List of tangible cultural and natural heritage in China

Some world cultural and natural heritage places in China are as followed,
 Sichuan Province (2000)

 Mount Wutai Shanxi Province (2009)

 Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde Hebei Province (1994)

 Old Town of Lijiang Yunnan Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains

Hubei Province (1994)

 Ancient City of Ping Yao Shananxi Province (1997)

 Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun Anhui Province (2000)

 Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom Liaoning, Jilin (2004)

 Classical Gardens of Suzhou Jiangsu Province (1997)

 Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces Yunan Province (2013)

 Dazu Rock Carvings Chongqing (1999)

 Fujian Tulou Fujian Province (2008)

 Historic Centre of Macao Macao (2005)

 Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa Tibet (1994)

 Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth” Hunan

Province (2010)

 Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Shenyang Liaoning Province


 Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties Beijing (2000)

 Kaiping Diaolou and Villages Guangdong Province (2007)

 Longmen Grottoes Luoyang, Henan Province (2000)

 Lushan National Park Jiangxi Province (1996)

 Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor Xian (1987)

 Mogao Caves Dunhuang(1987)

 Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation SystemProvince (1997)

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 Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian Beijing (1987)

 Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor Shaanxi, Henan,

Gansu, Xinjiang (2014)

 Site of Xanadu Inner Mongolia (2012)

 Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing Beijing (1998)

 Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in

Qufu Shandong(1994)

 Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing Beijing (1998)

 The Grand Canal Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang


 The Great Wall Beijing (1987)

 Tusi Sites Hunan, Hubei, Guizhou (2015)

 West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou Zhejiang Province (2011)

 Yin Xu Henan (2006)

 Yungang Grottoes Datong, Shanxi Province (2001)

In this paper, some of the famous world cultural and natural heritage sites in China
are showed as follow.

1. Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains

Located in the piedmont of the Wudang Mountains in Hubei province, the
Ancient Building Complex was built in Ming Dynasty. The structure consists of palaces and
temples, and the Taoist buildings date back to the 7th century.

2. Dazu Rock Carvings

Dazu is an area containing steep hillsides of an extraordinary series of rock
carvings, dating from the 9th to the 13th century. The hillsides are extraordinary for their
artistic quality, rich diversity of subject matter, and the light they shed on everyday life in
China during this period – indicating the harmonious combination of Buddhism, Taoism and
Student Name - Ms. Ni Zin Phoo , Student ID - 6318211

3. Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing dynasties in Beijing and Shnyaeng

Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the Forbidden City in the center of Beijing used
to be the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Imperial Palace of the Qing
Dynasty in Shenyang consists of 114 buildings constructed from 1625–1626 to 1783. The
buildings are the testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty, and to the cultural traditions of
the Manchu and other tribes in the North China. The Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing
dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang were added to the World Heritage List in 1987 and 2004.

4. The Great Wall

The Great Wall is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, rammed earth,
wood, and other materials. It was built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern
borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of
the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. The Great Wall is of great architectural,
historic and strategic importance.

5. Yinxu
Yinxu is the site of one of the ancient and major historical capitals of China. It is
the source of the archeological discovery of oracle bones and an oracle bone script, which
resulted in the recognition of the earliest known Chinese writing.

6. Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape

Located on the west bank of the Ming River, the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art
Cultural Landscape is an extensive assembly of historical rock art painted on limestone cliff
faces in Guangxi over a period of several hundred years.

7. Gulangyu Island
Gulangyu Island is located on the estuary of the Jiulong River, facing the city of
Xiamen. Its heritage includes a settlement composed of 931 historical buildings, and represents
a variety of local and international architectural styles, natural sceneries, historic roads and
gardens. Gulangyu is an exceptional example of cultural fusion.

8. Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

Located in Shaanxi province, the mausoleum of China's first Qin Emperor is a
rare treasure in terms of size, scope and the incredible army of Terracotta Warriors guarding
the tomb. It was listed as a cultural heritage site by UNESCO in December, 1987.
Student Name - Ms. Ni Zin Phoo , Student ID - 6318211

Figure-1, Ancient Building Complex in Figure-2, Dazu Rock Carvings

the Wudang Mountains
Wudang Mountain

Figure-3, Imperial Palaces of the Ming

Figure-4, the Great Wall
Qing dynastiesin Beijing and Shnyaeng

Figure-5, Yinxu Figure-6, Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural


Figure-8, Mausoleum of the

Figure-7, Gulangyu First
Qin Emperor
Student Name - Ms. Ni Zin Phoo , Student ID - 6318211

4. Intangible cultural and natural heritage in China

4.1 Weapon Artefacts

The ancient china civilization has seen a variety of martial arts and battle
techniques. The ancient Chinese army won many famous battles and was a very successful
force in the Asian continent. And weapon of course played an important role in it. These
ancient weapons were masterpieces of engineering and helped Chinese army succeed much
There were hundreds different types of cold weapons in ancient Chinese
battlefields, with the most commonly used including bow (弓), crossbow (弩), sword (剑), broad
knife (刀), spear (矛), speargun (枪), cugel (棍), battleaxe (斧), battle spade (钺), halberd (戟),
lance (殳), whip (鞭), blunt sword (锏), hammer (锤), fork (叉), plow (钯), dagger (戈) and
shield (盾) – known as tools for 18 military skills (18般武艺).
The earliest Chinese firearms were invented around the 9th century during the
Song Dynasty. Ming Dynasty saw China‟s firearm development led the world, with Magic
Machine Battalion (神机营) established by the third Ming Emperor Yongle, and cannons played
a decisive role in the battles to reclaim foreshore region in Suzhou from Japanese pirates.

4.1.1 Spear

The use of spear as military weapon can be traced back to Shang Dynasty some
4,000 years ago, by then the spearhead was quite broad and made of bronze. Entering the
Warring States era (475 BC – 221 BC), the iron or steel spearheads became more common, and
were narrower in shape, while the shafts were often made of wood wrapped with bamboo
sheets that improved strength and resilience. According to The Book of Technology (考工记)
compiled around 250 BC, the spear for infantry would be 4.5m long, while charot soldiers
normally used the spears as long as 5.4 metres.

4.1.2 Bronze Spearhead

This is a bronze spearhead unearthed from an ancient tomb in Horse Hill,

Jianglin County of Hubei Province, dating back to Spring and Autumn Era (770 BC – 476
BC). The notches in the middle on the both sides serve the same function as red lace on snake
spear for blood to flow through without smear the weapon. According to the inscription on the
spearhead, it was the weapon once used by King of Wu of a Suzhou-based kingdom.
Student Name - Ms. Ni Zin Phoo , Student ID - 6318211

4.1.2 Battle-axe

Traditional Chinese battleaxes had many different shapes and were mainly used
on the battlefield before Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). During the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties
in the period between 2,000 BC and 250 BC, battle-axe was chiefly utilized as the symbol of
state power.

4.1.3 Ancient Chinese Firearms (Magical Machine Battalion)

These are part of firearms equipped the Magical Machine Battalion, an artillery
division in the Ming armies established by Emperor Yongle in the beginning of the 15th
century. In 1410, the firearm battalion was first deployed to engage Mongols and won the
battle, which allowed the construction of the new Beijing to be carried on and Chinese capital
to be formally relocated from south (Nanjing) to north (Beijing) in 1421.

4.1.4 Ancient Chinese Firearms (Cannon)

China invented firearms since the Song Dynasty (960–1279) during its fight
against Manchus (in North Song) and Mongols (in South Song). The barrels of the earliest
firearms were made with bamboo and paper, packed with black powder, iron fillings and
bullets inside. Entering the Southern Song, the bamboo and paper barrels were replaced with
metal. In 1163, Chinese general Wei Sheng used dozens of war chariots loaded with metal
firearms in a decisive battle against the early form of Manchus and claimed a great victory.
After China was occupied by the Mongols in the 13th century, Genghis Khan‟s army learned
the technique and brought it all the way to the Europe through its burning, killing and looting

4.1.5 Sculpture artefacts

Chinese ritual bronzes from the Shang and Western Zhou dynasties come from a
period of over a thousand years from c. 1500, and have exerted a continuing influence over
Chinese art. The spectacular Terracotta Army was assembled for the tomb of Qin Shi Huang,
the first emperor of a unified China from 221–210 BC, as a grand imperial version of the
figures long placed in tombs to enable the deceased to enjoy the same lifestyle in the afterlife
as when alive, replacing actual sacrifices of very early periods. Smaller figures in pottery or
wood were placed in tombs for many centuries afterwards, reaching a peak of quality in
the Tang dynasty.
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Native Chinese religions do not usually use cult images of deities, or even
represent them, and large religious sculpture is nearly all Buddhist, dating mostly from the 4th
to the 14th century, and initially using Greco-Buddhist models arriving via the Silk Road.
Small Buddhist figures and groups were produced to a very high quality in a range of media, as
was relief decoration of all sorts of objects, especially in metalwork and jade. Sculptors of all
sorts were regarded as artisans and very few names are recorded.

4.1.6 Pottery artefacts

Chinese ceramic ware shows a continuous development since the pre-dynastic

periods, and is one of the most significant forms of Chinese art. China is richly endowed with
the raw materials needed for making ceramics. The first types of ceramics were made during
the Palaeolithic era, and in later periods range from construction materials such as bricks and
tiles, to hand-built pottery vessels fired in bonfires or kilns, to the sophisticated Chinese
porcelain wares made for the imperial court. Early forms of art in China are found in
the Neolithic Yangshao pottery culture, which dates back to the 6th millennium BC.
Archeological findings such as those at the Banpo have revealed that the Yangshao made
pottery; early ceramics were unpainted and most often cord-marked. The first decorations were
fish and human faces, but these eventually evolved into symmetrical-geometric abstract
designs, some painted.
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Figure-9,Spear design in Shang, a dynasty Figure-10, Spearhead in Qing dynasty

Figure-11, Folk Chinese Copper Brass Figure-12, A Chinese wooden sculpture

Ancient Dragon Head beast depicting Guanyin, Song Dynasty,
Battle-axe Statue 12th century AD

Figure-13,A wooden Figure-14,Wine jar, Figure-15,Covered red jar

Bodhisattva Western Zhou dynasty with dragon and
from the Song dynasty (1050 BC–771 BC) sea design from the
(960–1279) Jiajing period
(1521–1567) in the
Ming dynasty

Figure-16,Dish with underglazed

blue andoverglazed red design of
clouds and
dragons, Jingdezhen ware,
Yongzheng period (1723–1735),
Qing dynasty, Shanghai Museum
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5 Tea culture
The practice of drinking tea has a long history in China, having originated there.
The history of tea in China is long and complex, for the Chinese have enjoyed tea for
millennia. Scholars hailed the brew as a cure for a variety of ailments; the nobility considered
the consumption of good tea as a mark of their status, and the common people simply enjoyed
its flavour. In 2016, the discovery of the earliest known physical evidence of tea from the
mausoleum of Emperor Jing of Han in Xi'an was announced, indicating that tea from the genus
Camellia was drunk by Han dynasty emperors as early as 2nd century BC. Tea then became a
popular drink in the Tang (618–907) and Song (960–1279) Dynasties.

Although tea originated in China, during the Tang dynasty, Chinese tea generally
represents tea leaves which have been processed using methods inherited from ancient China.
According to popular legend, tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen Nong in 2737 BCE
when a leaf from a nearby shrub fell into water the emperor was boiling. Tea is deeply woven
into the history and culture of China. The beverage is considered one of the seven necessities
of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar.[110] Around 771
BC – 476 BC the Chinese tea is used for medicinal purposes.This period also known as the
"Spring and Autumn Period", it is where Chinese people first enjoyed the juice extracted from
the tea leaves that they chewed.Chinese Tea culture refers to how tea is prepared as well as the
occasions when people consume tea in China. Tea culture in China differs from that in
European countries like Britain and other Asian countries like Japan in preparation, taste, and
occasion wherein it is consumed. Even today, tea is consumed regularly, both at casual and
formal occasions. In addition to being a popular beverage, tea is used in traditional Chinese
medicine, as well as in Chinese cuisine. Green tea is one of the main worldwide teas
originating in China.

A traditional Chinese tea culture (茶 艺,茶藝)

set and three gaiwan.
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6 Chinese Food culture

The overwhelmingly large variety of Chinese cuisine comes mainly from the
practice of dynastic period, when emperors would host banquets with over 100 dishes per
meal. A countless number of imperial kitchen staff and concubines were involved in the food
preparation process. Over time, many dishes became part of the everyday-citizen culture. Some
of the highest quality restaurants with recipes close to the dynastic periods include Fangshan
restaurant in Beihai Park Beijing and the Oriole Pavilion. Arguably all branches of Hong Kong
eastern style are in some ways rooted from the original dynastic cuisines.
Manhan Quanxi, literally Manchu Han Imperial Feast was one of the grandest
meals ever documented in Chinese cuisine. It consisted of at least 108 unique dishes from the
Manchu and Han Chinese culture during the Qing dynasty, and it is only reserved and intended
for the Emperors. The meal was held for three whole days, across six banquets. The culinary
skills consisted of cooking methods from all over Imperial China. the Manchus conquered
China and founded the Qing dynasty, the Manchu and Han Chinese peoples struggled for
power. The Kangxi Emperor wanted to resolve the disputes so he held a banquet during his
66th birthday celebrations. The banquet consisted of Manchu and Han dishes, with officials
from both ethnic groups attending the banquet together. After the Wuchang Uprising, common
people learned about the imperial banquet. The original meal was served in the Forbidden City
in Beijing.

Photo showing serving chopsticks

(gongkuai) on the far right, personal
chopsticks (putongkuai) in the middle, and
a spoon. Serving chopsticks are usually
more ornate than the personal ones.
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7 Music, instruments and dancing

Music and dance were closely associated in the very early periods of China. The
music of China dates back to the dawn of Chinese civilization with documents and artifacts
providing evidence of a well-developed musical culture as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1122
BCE – 256 BCE). The earliest music of the Zhou Dynasty recorded in ancient Chinese texts
includes the ritual music called yayue and each piece may be associated with a dance. Some of
the oldest written music dates back to Confucius's time. The first major well-documented
flowering of Chinese music was exemplified through the popularization of the qin (plucked
instrument with seven strings) during the Tang Dynasty, although the instrument is known to
have played a major role before the Han Dynasty.

There are many musical instruments that are integral to Chinese culture, such as
the Xun (Ocarina-type instrument that is also integral in Native American cultures), Guzheng
(zither with movable bridges), guqin (bridgeless zither), sheng and xiao (vertical flute), the
erhu (alto fiddle or bowed lute), pipa (pearshaped plucked lute), and many others.

Dance in China is a highly varied art form, consisting of many modern and
traditional dance genres. The dances cover a wide range, from folk dances to performances in
opera and ballet, and may be used in public celebrations, rituals and ceremonies. There are also
56 officially recognized ethnic groups in China, and each ethnic minority group in China also
has its own folk dances. The best known Chinese dances today are the Dragon dance and the
Lion Dance.

Guzheng, a type of Chinese instrument.

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8 Conclusion
The Chinese refer to their country as the Middle Kingdom, an indication of how
central they have felt themselves to be throughout history. There are cultural and linguistic
variations in different regions, but for such a large country the culture is relatively uniform.
However, fifty-five minority groups inhabit the more remote regions of the country and have
their own unique cultures, languages, and customs. Chinese culture is a set of core values that
underlies social interaction among the ordinary Chinese people and remains relatively stable
over long period of time. A cultural system rich in distinct national style took shape within the
terrain of China over more than 5,000 years. The relatively enclosed geographical surroundings
provided exceptional natural advantages for Chinese culture to evolve into a stable and
independent system Agricultural civilization plays a decisive role in forming and promoting
the Chinese culture.
In brief, Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest cultures, tracing back to
thousands of years ago. Important components of Chinese culture include ceramics,
architecture, music, literature, martial arts, cuisine, visual arts, philosophy and religion.
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 Intangible cultural heritage – Wikipedia

 Arts science and artifacts in Chinese cultural heritage: An exciting

new HKU led innovative interdisciplinary pedagogical project –

Quentin Parker

 Chinese art – Wikipedia

 A Brief Introduction to Ancient Chinese Military Weapons – All

Things Chinese





 Guangya Zhu, 2012, China’s architectural heritage conservation


 Chinese Culture in brief, Wikipedia