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Sanxingdui Culture Ruins

a mask in Sanxingdui Ruins in SichuanThe Sanxingdui Culture Ruins, on western China's Chengdu Plain, is the ruins of the Bronze Age in the middle and late Shang Dynasty.  The name was entailed for that its appearance resembles three earth pits. They are regarded as the ninth wonder of the world. As archaeologists have been unable to produce any explanation for this enigmatic culture, that existed 2,000 years earlier than the terracotta army, most particularly its advanced level of technology, they are all the more intrigued in it. There are no traces of civilizations preceding or succeeding the Sanxingdui, which suggests a spectral existence in an isolated time and space. When first discovered, the civilization was attributed Erik von Daniken style space alien connections. Eighty years later, archeologists are still confounded by the Sanxingdui riddle. 

The excavation of Sanxingdui Culture Ruins began in 1980. More than a thousand pieces of priceless treasures were dug out, including bronze wares, jade wares, ivories, shells, earthen wares, gold wares, etc. The bronze wares include vessels, weapons, large standing human figures, head portraits, animal figures, and masks etc. It was becoming instant stirring news in the whole world. In 1986, two large sacrificial pits of the Sanxingdui were unearthed. The Sanxingdui ruins are the world's two earliest gold wands, which are 1.42m in length and 700g in weight, with human heads, fishes, and birds carved on them.

The sacrificial pits of Sanxingdui Culture Ruins are believed to be sites for the ancient Shu people to offer sacrifice to Heaven, Earth, mountains, rivers, and other natural gods. The upright figures and seated figures are respectively prayers and emcees, bronze animal-faced masks with protruding eyes and flat bronze animal-faced masks may be the copper statue in Sanxingdui Ruinsnatural gods worshiped by the Shu people; bronze divine trees modeled upon real plants reflect the Shu people’s religious consciousness of plant worshipping.

The discovery of Sanxingdui Culture Ruins shocked the world, but the history of the ruins remains a mystery. The bronze wares from the Sanxingdui we see today are but only small scraps of an immemorial and brilliant civilization. Where was the Sanxingdui culture from? Which clan did the residents of the ruins belong to? How did the advanced bronze manufacture techniques come into being? And how did they decline and die out?


Sanxingdui Culture Ruins Tour

The archaeological project at the Sanxingdui Culture Ruins is ongoing. Mysterious and magnificent, the Sanxingdui civilization is a unique and dazzling page in China’s long history.