LANZHOU, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The new hall of a bamboo slip museum in northwest China's Gansu Province opened on Thursday, with more than 1,000 ancient bamboo slips on display.
Most of these slips are being showcased for the first time since they were discovered, including those dating back some 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 220), said Yang Mei, deputy curator of the Gansu bamboo slip museum in Lanzhou, the provincial capital.
Bamboo slips, each containing a narrow vertical column of dozens of characters, can be classified as China's earliest form of books. They used to be the most important objects to write on before paper was invented. One piece of bamboo slip, or even a character on it, might offer vital clues to help solve an archeological puzzle, thus revealing an unknown episode of history.
"The new hall will display bamboo slips to the outside world and become another platform and window for the public to understand the traditional Chinese culture," said Zhu Jianjun, curator of the museum.
The new hall of the museum will officially open to the public on Saturday.
Located along the Hexi Corridor, part of the ancient Silk Road in northwest China, Gansu has a dry climate, and therefore, the ancient bamboo slips can be better preserved there. Latest figures show that more than 60,000 bamboo slips have been unearthed in the province, most of which are from the Han Dynasty.