Sanxingdui Museum [三星堆博物馆]
Guanghan [广汉], Sichuan [四川], PRC
15 miles N of Chengdu [成都]
Jun 7, 2005

In the 1980s, archelogoists were excavating at Sanxingdui, where farmers had been finding ancient pieces since 1929. They unexpectedly uncovered traces of an ancient city, over 3,000 years old, believed to have been the capital of the ancient Shu state [古蜀国].

Introduction from the Museum Sanxindui Period IV corresponds to the end of the Shang dynasty and the beginning of the Zhou dynasty about 2800 to 3200 years ago. At the end of this period the ancient city of Sanxingdui was suddenly abandoned due to causes still unknown. The Sanxingdui civilization ceased its existence, and the ancient state seemed to have suddenly disappeared. Although many scholars attribute Sanxingdui's demise to a catastrophic flood, this would not explain the fate of its large polulation. In early 2001, an important discovery at the Jinsha site in Chengdu provided a preliminary clue to this puzzle; the political and cultural center of the ancient Shu state may have moved southward to Chengdu. The ancient settlements in Chengdu, with Jinsha as its type site, were obviously related to the Sanxindui site, showing that ancient Shu civilization had entered a new stage of development.

Page 2

Sanxingdui Museum Bronze Wine Vessle [铜尊] Bronze Lei (Wine Vessle) [铜酹]

Divine Tree 1 [神树] Divine Tree 2 Divine Tree 3
bronze bird [铜鸟] kane Divine Tree 4 with mom and dad Sacrificial Pit 1 Sacrificial Pit 2 (filled with elephant tusks)

bizzare bronze mask

Ceremony of Sacrifice
copper Sun Wheel Head of Priests [群巫之长] bronze bird dragon-headed cylinder vessel [龙柱形器]




Yan-Bin Jia