Wang Zhongshu, born on October 15, 1925 and died September 24, 2015.
He was a Chinese archaeologist who has helped to establish and develop the field of archaeology in China.
One of the most prominent Asian archaeologists, he was awarded the Grand Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 1996 by the Japanese city of Fukuoka.
Zhongshu specializes in the archaeology of China’s Han and Tang dynasties, as well as Japanese archaeology.
He is noted for his achievements in the study of ancient Sino-Japanese relations.
Wang Zhongshu was born in 1925 in Ningbo, Zhejiang province during the Republic of China era.
His father was a high school Chinese teacher who also worked for Tian Yi Ge, one of the oldest libraries in China.
Influenced by his father, Zhongshu was well versed in classical Chinese literature and history.
During the Japanese invasion of China he was forced to flee his hometown as a refugee and completed his middle school education while on the run.
After the end of World War II, Zhongshu was accepted by several top Chinese universities in 1946, and chose to enter Zhejiang University in his home province, where he studied under the historian Tan Qixiang and excelled in the subjects of Chinese history and the Japanese language.
In 1949 the Communists won the Chinese Civil War and established the People’s Republic of China.
Zhejiang University was being reorganized by the new government, and following Tan’s advice, Wang Zhongshu decided to transfer to Peking University.
After graduating from the Department of History of Peking University in July 1950, Zhongshu joined the newly established Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, working and studying under Xia Nai, the institute’s vice director who is considered a founder of modern Chinese archaeology.
After the major disruptions of the Cultural Revolution (1966 to 1976), during which numerous intellectuals, including Xia Nai, were persecuted, in 1978 Zhongshu became the vice director of the Institute of Archaeology, still working under Xia Nai, now director.
He succeeded Xia as director of the institute in 1982, and held the position until 1988.
Wang Zhongshu Died on 24 September 2015.