Pioneer Archaeologist in South China: Father Maglioni's Collection of Archaeological Finds
4 November 2009 – 1 February 2010
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department
Co-organized by the Hong Kong Museum of History, the Centre for Chinese Archaeology and Art, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Guangdong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology
In association with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions
Father Raphael Maglioni (1891-1953) was a gifted archaeologist and linguist. He left his native Italy in the late 1920s to carry out missionary work in Hong Kong and then in the Haifeng district of Guangdong, where he worked for the next two decades. During that period, he mastered the Hoklo dialect and compiled a Hoklo-Italian dictionary.
It was also during this time that he assisted one of the pioneer archaeologists in South China, Jesuit Daniel Finn (1886-1936), in his surveys in the Haifeng district, something that spurred in him a keen interest in the discipline. His archaeological surveys in eastern Guangdong and Fujian unearthed a large quantity of artefacts that shed light on the prehistory of South China. Although Maglioni never had any formal training in archaeology, his work proved a ground-breaking endeavour that yielded significant material for archaeological research. The archaeological collection built up by Father Maglioni was donated to the Hong Kong government after his death in 1953.
Featuring the highlights of Father Maglioni's collection, this exhibition aimed to inspire visitors with a greater awareness and deeper understanding of the early archaeological work in eastern Guangdong and Hong Kong.