The Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology held a press conference at the Sanxingdui Museum on June 13. Through the conference, they released the phased results of the archaeological excavations at the Sanxingdui site, a major project of China archaeology.
The Sanxingdui site is widely regarded as one of the most significant archaeological finds of the twentieth century. It was unearthed in the late 1920s by a farmer excavating a ditch who discovered over 400 jade objects.
Since 2020, the six newly discovered “sacrificial pits” have unearthed a total of nearly 13,000 numbered artifacts. These items provide insight into a society that existed more than 3,000 years ago but was never recorded in history.
The fresh discoveries are mostly from pits 7 and 8.
Many of these artifacts have never been seen before, and it has turned our imagination of the ancient Shu people and the old Shu civilization upside down.
Several peculiarly shaped cultural relics enrich the category of bronze at the site of Sanxingdui, such as the Moonlight treasure box, a bronze sculpture with a human head and snake body, and a dragon-shaped bronze statue with a pig’s nose. One rare find is a bronze sacrificial altar depicting figures of humans and a sacred animal.
The artifacts reflect the diversity and richness of Chinese civilization and add new proof of the diversity of Chinese civilization.
According to China media Xinjing, archaeologists were able to end a decades-long debate by proving the age of the sacrificial pits to more than 3,000 years old through the excavation.
Researchers also found the remains of an ox and wild boar in the pits, suggesting the animals were used as sacrifices.