The Sanxingdui archaeological site, located in Sichuan province in China, has been the subject of historical discoveries since the 1930s. Excavations were re-launched by the Chinese government in 2019 with the aim of further unlocking the mysteries and origins of Chinese civilisation.
Extensive research has uncovered a unique 3,000-year-old treasure trove of nearly 500 bronze, jade, ivory, and gold objects found in six new sacrificial pits.
A gold mask weighing approximately 500 grams
The search is continuing in the hope of finding other pieces that will allow the object to be reconstructed. ‘It would be the heaviest and largest mask from the pre-imperial period ever found,’ said Lei Yu, director of the excavation.
A forgotten civilisation
The study of these objects, such as masks, tools, and other materials, has established that ‘the quality and craftsmanship of these objects surpass those made in the same period in other parts of China,’ the Daily Star points out. Research has shown that this historical treasure comes from a ‘highly developed civilisation that may have existed for several thousand years, but has never been mentioned in historical records.’
The artefacts, probably related to funerary and religious rites, are covered with certain unknown symbols that have not yet been deciphered.
Traces of silk have also been identified in the ruins. ‘Such discoveries will help us understand why Sichuan province became such an important source of goods on the Silk Road after the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC to 9 AD)’ says the Global Times.
This forgotten civilisation could shed more light on the origins of Chinese civilisation.