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While this Committee has defined its purposes with sufficient clearness in despatching me on a mission to report on the advisability of founding an American School of archaeology in Peking, they gave me such freedom of action in the field that I feel it my duty to review with them my understanding of the responsibilities which I undertook when I started.
The field of archaeological research in China remains today the most extensive of any country on the earth's surface. Not only geographically are huge areas to be covered, but in point of time we must deal with a progress of events from a past more remote than that of Greece or Rome and connected by the closest ties with the present. Unlike the classical civilizations and those of Egypt and Babylon, the people who inhabit the country today are descendants of the ancients whom we study.
The list of special recommendations contained at the end of this report, will, by their titles alone, suggest something of the scope of the work ready for the proposed school. But, various as they are, they do not include one twentieth part of the questions which force themselves for solution on the student of the East.
Up to the present no one of the multitude of plans for the investigations of China has approached in comprehensiveness that [[strike through]]one[[/strike through]] elaborated by your Committee in Washington. Archaeologists, historians, ethnologists, art collectors, students of language and literature and folk-lore have been long at work in China, work-