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AI technology brings Guangdong's earliest inhabitants to life, enhancing archaeological outreach

On June 2, Guangdong celebrated the tenth anniversary of archaeological excavations at the Modaoshan site in Yunfu with a unique event that underscored the role of AI digital technology in bringing ancient history to life. This event, organized by the Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism and hosted at the Guangdong Museum, highlighted the progress of the Early Lingnan Exploration Project through a captivating achievement showcase.

Themed "Exploring the Origins of Lingnan through Modaoshan," the presentation featured groundbreaking achievements of the Early Lingnan Exploration Project. A central attraction was the debut of the documentary "Through Modaoshan," which leverages advanced AI technology to digitally recreate the lives of ancient Modaoshan inhabitants. This digital reconstruction offers an immersive glimpse into the past, allowing viewers to experience the daily lives, environment, and culture of the early Lingnan people.

Esteemed experts, including Wang Youping, a professor from Peking University and former president of the Asian Paleolithic Association, and Liu Suoqiang, a researcher at the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics, praised the innovative use of AI in archaeology. They emphasized how this technology not only brings ancient history to life but also plays a crucial role in disseminating archaeological findings and cultural heritage to a broader audience.

The Early Lingnan Exploration Project, initiated in 2023, focuses on uncovering the origins and development of Lingnan culture. Recent archaeological surveys around the Modaoshan site have revealed 30 new Paleolithic sites, including caves and locations with animal fossils. Over the past decade, more than 130 Paleolithic sites have been discovered in the Nanjiang River Basin, providing valuable insights into the lives of Guangdong’s earliest inhabitants. AI technology has been instrumental in processing and analyzing these findings, enabling researchers to create accurate and vivid representations of the past to facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of ancient Lingnan society. These digital models also help bridge the gap between scientific research and public engagement, making archaeological discoveries more accessible and engaging for people of all ages.

This innovative approach underscores the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, involving AI experts, archaeologists, and cultural historians, to advance the field of archaeology. The success of the digital ancient Modaoshan inhabitants highlights the potential of AI technology to transform the way we study, preserve, and communicate history, ensuring that the legacy of ancient civilizations continues to resonate in the digital age.

Reporter | Nick

Video | Guo Hongda

Editor | Olivia, Nan, James

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