China and the surrounding region has for as long as it has existed almost always relied on artifacts and relics to teach the present generation about past generations. The most significant archaeological discovery of the 20th century is arguably the Terra Cotta soldiers from the burial grounds of Qin Shihuangdi in Xian.
The magnitude of Chinese archaeology is not merely measured by the thousands of sites and cultures discovered, but by the shear wealth of information those sites have yielded over the course of the last millennium.
Owing not only to its age but also to its endurance, China is one of three civilizations to have lasted from pre-historic and ancient times to the present. That alone has made archaeology in China a subject that one can not even discover wholly in an entire lifetime. Therefore, these pages will only cover the most basic aspects.