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INDEX – SCIENCE – Three thousand year old treasures, including an offering altar, were found among 13,000 artifacts.

The relics, many of which were made of gold, bronze, and jade, were excavated in six offering pits at the Sanxingdui Archaeological Site near Chengdu.

Historians know relatively little about the Sanxingdui culture, which left no written records or human remains, although many believe it was part of the ancient Shu kingdom. It is hoped that recent discoveries will shed light on the kingdom that ruled along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River in western Sichuan until it was conquered in 316 BC.

A team of archaeologists from Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeological Research, Peking University, Sichuan University and other research institutes have excavated six excavations at the site since 2020. In the latest excavation, archaeologists have found 3,155 relatively intact monuments, including More than 2,000 pieces of bronze and statues.

New artifacts from the past

Researchers describe a tortoise-shaped box made of bronze and jade among the most intriguing finds, saying it’s the first time such an object has been discovered.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the bowl is unique due to its distinctive shape, exquisite craftsmanship and imaginative design. Although we do not know the purpose of using this vase, we can assume that it was highly appreciated by the ancients.

Said Li Haichao, a professor at Sichuan University.

A bronze altar about one meter high was also found in one of the pits, where the people of the Shu civilization supposedly made sacrifices to heaven and earth and their ancestors. Traces of bamboo, cane, soybeans, cattle, and wild boar around the pits indicate that they were all made as offerings.

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The diversity of objects at the site reflects the cultural exchanges between ancient Chinese civilizations, said Ran Honglin, director of the Sanxingdu Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Institute. He pointed out that one of the human-headed statues and the two-body snake was a feature of the ancient Shu civilization, while the ceremonial vessels known as “Zun” from the site symbolically symbolize the Zhongyuan region, known as the Central Plain of China.

Many cultural relics unearthed at Sanxingdui have been found elsewhere in China, attesting to the early exchange and integration of Chinese civilization.

Ran Honglin said.

The 4.6 square kilometer archaeological site has brought thousands of ancient finds to the surface since it was discovered by a local farmer in the 1920s. Among the finds unearthed last year were treasures such as a golden mask weighing about 100 grams, ivory traces and a jade knife.

Although Sanxingdui has not yet been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, it is on the organization’s preliminary list, CNN.