Ancient China’s first government-run institution of higher learning, built in 374 BC ruins have been reported to be discovered in the Linzi District of Zibo City in east China’s Shandong Province.
The provincial institute of cultural relics and archaeology mentioned that the Jixia Academy founded by the State of Qi during the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), that had existed for more than 150 years was a state institution of higher learning with multiple roles such as university, research institute, and think tank.
The building complex was reportedly unearthed following a five-year excavation drive, and historical records, thus confirming it to be Jixia Academy.
According to archaeologists, four rows of building foundations have been found at the site, measuring about 210 meters from east to west at its widest and 190 meters long from north to south, with a total area of nearly 40,000 sq meters.
The site appears as a right-angled trapezoid from above and is connected to the ancient capital city of Qi.
Zheng Tongxiu, with the provincial archaeological society who is also the curator of the provincial museum mentioned that establishing the Jixia Academy was one of the major reforms of the state of Qi, which set the stage for a new social trend of great cultural and intellectual expansion at that time. The new discovery is of great significance for conducting further studies on Qi’s culture.