Ancient History

Precious Afghanistan heritage reclaimed

Engraved ivory furniture decoration depicting a merchant buying a horse. Photo: Thierry Ollivier

A Melbourne exhibition of Afghan treasures is a remarkable affirmation of a troubled land’s ancient culture and a tribute to the people who saved them, writes Sue Green

Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 4:07pm 1 comment

Hong Kong robot reveals mysterious yellow orbs at ancient Mexican temple

More than 30 researchers are involved in the excavation at the Temple of the Feathered Serpent at Teotihuacan, 40 kilometres northeast of Mexico City. Photo: SMP

Under the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Mexico lay a tunnel not seen by people in more than 1,800 years. Damp, dark, filled with debris, and deliberately sealed by its creators, the passageway was thought to house the remains of the rulers of the ancient city of Teotihuacan

20 May 2013 - 10:19pm 1 comment

Scientist told not to use Hobbit name

An undated sketch of a prehistoric marabou compared with the tiny Homo floresiensis (right).

It was, perhaps, inevitable that Homo floresiensis, the metre-tall species of primitive human discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores, would come to be widely known as "hobbits". After all, like JRR Tolkien's creation, they were "a little people, about half our height".

1 Nov 2012 - 4:35am

The discontent beneath the surface

The discontent beneath the surface

The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future

by Gerard Lemos

Yale University Press


Chow Chung-yan

20 Aug 2012 - 10:26am

Web users blase about breakthroughs

The response by the online community was lukewarm yesterday as China celebrated grand achievements in both space and beneath the sea on the same day, with bitter web users using microblog accounts to criticise the government for favouring technological advancements over improving people's lives.

25 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

US moves raise stakes with China

The US foreign policy shift that has come to be known as the 'pivot to Asia' has been much discussed, but little defined since being unveiled last November. Defence secretary Leon Panetta made the strategy's military dimension less cloudy in Singapore at the weekend, announcing that most of America's warships would be based in the region by the end of the decade.

7 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Never the twain shall meet

To many in the West, though fewer in Hong Kong and Asia, China's rise is moving roughly according to plan. The forces unleashed by Deng Xiaoping's reforms have created an increasingly free-market economy, albeit with some unwanted legacies, such as the tendency of Chinese companies to receive state support or steal intellectual property.

13 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Morality in tatters

A minibus that should seat only nine people was crammed with 64, all but two of them children. On its way to a kindergarten, the minibus collided with a coal truck and, as a result, 21 people were killed and the others injured. This tragic accident that happened last month in Zhengning county, Gansu, sparked a nationwide debate on the safety of school buses in China.

6 Dec 2011 - 12:00am

Writing the wrongs

Why would a 75-year-old businessman spend 20 months of his retirement writing a book on a sweeping topic like the relationship between China and the West?

17 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Exodus by the rich a worrying trend

The mainland has long held up the welcome sign for high-achieving expatriates who return to contribute to the country's development. Many have leapt at the chance to go back to their roots to seize opportunities created by dynamic economic growth.

7 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

How foreign shores lost their lustre

Many Chinese who have attended graduate school and worked in the West are moving back to their homeland to start up their own enterprises or serve international companies. They are commonly called haigui, literally 'sea turtles', or overseas returnees.

18 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

HK finds back cradle-of-culture theory

The unearthing in Hong Kong of pounded tree bark, used as clothing by ancient people, shows the city's history of human habitation may date back at least 7,000 years. The finds provide new evidence of links between southern China, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.

5 Aug 2011 - 12:00am

As the masses find a voice, gap emerges as to how to respond

Two recent articles reflect an agreement and a disagreement among Beijing's top leaders and their advisers.

19 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

Learning from 'jasmine revolutions', but it's not about democracy

Should Beijing take a lesson from the 'jasmine revolutions' in the Arab world? 'Yes,' say researchers at government think tanks. But the lesson is not one about democracy, but about how the government can effectively deliver development and general welfare.

10 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

PLA fans: unarmed and maybe dangerous

Every time 27-year-old Benjamin Xia Peng discusses the relative military strength of China and the United States with like-minded peers from his hometown in Hunan, he feels a strong anti-US sentiment among them.

7 Apr 2011 - 12:00am