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. Chinese Oldest Academy Celebrates 1,030 Years

Yuelu Academy is at the foot of Yuelushan Mountain to the west of Changsha, and is the best of the four big academies of the Song Dynasty. It was the earliest institution of higher learning in China sponsored by government offices. The present buildings are mostly from the Qing Dynasty. Since the Song Dynasty, it has become a place for famous scholars to give lectures.
by Staff Writers
Changsha (XNA) Oct 04, 2006
More than 1,000 teachers, students and alumni gathered on Tuesday in central China to mark the 1,030th anniversary of the founding of Yuelu Academy, China's oldest learning institution that is now affiliated to Hunan University. Established in 976, the Yuelu Academy is one of the most famous academies in ancient China. It became a school of higher learning in 1903 and became part of Hunan University in 1926.

"Historical records show there were more than 7,000 ancient academies in China, but most disappeared except for the Yuelu Academy, which developed into Hunan University," said Deng Hongbo, director of Yuelu's Chinese academy research center.

Now, the Yuelu Academy has about 70 students who study for master and doctor degrees, according to Zhu Hanmin, head of the academy.

Research majors of the Yuelu Academy include history, philosophy, education and literature.

Construction on an academy museum, the first of its kind in China, began on Tuesday and is scheduled for completion in two years.

The museum will be a research and exhibition center of Chinese academy artifacts, said Zhu.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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According to University of Pittsburgh anthropology professor Jeffrey Schwartz, author of the four-volume The Human Fossil Record (Wiley-Liss, 2002-05), "the discovery of any largely complete skeleton of an ancient human relative would be unique. The fact that it is a child makes it even more exciting because of what its bones and teeth might reveal that an adult's cannot."

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