The first ever archaeology collaboration between Henan Province, central China, and Mongolia, will break ground on July 21 as the Chinese team left for Mongolia Wednesday.
The program is the first time the province has sent a team of archaeologists abroad.
Archaeologists from both countries will cooperate on surveys, mapping, excavation and research of a Xiongnu cemetery in Arhangay Province. The site has more than 400-known tombs.
Previous digs over the past 10 years have unearthed a chariot believed to have been given to the Xiongnu by China during the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD), as well as some ironware and pottery typical of the Han style.
"The Xiongnu had close political and economic connection with the Han Dynasty," said Zhou Ligang, head of the Henan archaeological team.
The Xiongnu were an alliance of nomadic tribes who are also known as the Hun. Emerging around the end of the third century B.C., they were to have a huge impact on Chinese and world history. During the Han Dynasty, the Xiongnu and China clashed several times.
Zhou said that previously excavated relics needed to be classified and restored, and the other tomb groups needed further observation and analysis.
"We will use the most advanced equipment and technology, such as low-altitude photogrammetry, to create a 3D model of the cemetery, which will help the Mongolian archaeologists digitalize their research findings," Zhou said.
The project will be livestreamed on Sina Weibo and will be included in international exhibitions. The Mongolian side will also visit Henan to conduct field surveys and undertake aerial photogrammetry training.