Sanxingdui, or Guanghan Sanxingdui, is situated at the southwest of the Sichuan Basin. Sanxingdui is the ruins of a Bronze Age settlement from the middle and late Shang Dynasty (1600 – 1046 BCE). With a history of roughly 5,000 years, Sanxingdui is often hailed as the “Ninth Wonder of the World” by historians.
Sanxingdui was discovered by a local peasant in 1929. In 1986, two sacrificial pits were discovered and thousands of ancient articles and treasures were dug out which included bronze ware, jade ware, ivories, shells, earthen ware, gold, etc. Since then, over 10,000 relics which can be dated back to between 5,000 and 3,000 BCE had been unearthed at Sanxingdui.
The pits in Sanxingdui are believed to be the sites for the ancient Shu people to offer their sacrifice to Heaven, the earth, mountains, rivers, and other natural gods. According to archaeological finds, the settlements at Sanxingdui were suddenly abandoned at some point.
For reasons that still are unknown, the Sanxingdui culture come to an abrupt end. Some archaeologists speculated that the whole state was flooded, but this proved to be incorrect. And there is further speculation that war ruined the ancient Shu Kingdom, but the unearthed war wares belonged to different period of the Shu State. How did a country suddenly disappear? It is still a mystery.
Where did Sanxingdui culture originate? Judging from the bronze human images, the people’s appearance is like that of western peoples. Therefore perhaps the people of Sanxingdui were not native to China or Asia as a whole.
The large amount of ivories and seashells discovered at the site also raises questions.
Mysteries abound at ancient Sanxingdui.
Admission Fee: 80RMB Opening Time: 8:00 – 18:30
How to get to: There is direct coaches to Sanxingdui Museum at northern Chengdu Railway Station.