In China, graduates of archaeology used to be employed by museums, which could not pay them much. Many now end up in commercial cultural relic identification – a much more lucrative trade with millions of dollars at stake.

So, as a client who has a potentially very expensive piece for identification, how to tell whether the archaeologist you are looking to is a real expert, or not?

A newbie (probably fresh out of university)

“This is fake! Everything is fake!”
– because they are very eager to prove themselves (and probably telling the truth too)

An experienced archaeologist

“This is real. Everything is real.”
– they have learnt some life lessons. 

A real expert

“Well this looks fascinating, complicated. I do not know whether it is real or not.”
– They have mastered understanding of live human beings.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].


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Jianggan Li is the Founder & CEO of Momentum Works. Prior to founding Momentum Works, he co-founded Easy Taxi in Asia, and served as Managing Director of Foodpanda. The two years running Rocket Internet companies has given him a lifetime experience on supersonic implementation, and good camaraderie with entrepreneurs across the developing world. He holds a MBA from INSEAD (GMAT 770) and a degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University. Unfortunately he never wrote a single line of code professionally - but in his first job he was in media, travelling extensively across Asia & Europe, speaking with Ministers & (occasionally) Prime Ministers. Apart from English and his native Mandarin, he is also fluent in French and conversational in Cantonese & Spanish. He tried to learn Latin (for three years) and Sanskrit (for six months) as well. In his (scarce) free time, he reads, travels, hikes and dives. Pyongyang, Tehran & Chisinau are among the interesting cities he has been to.