Why is Sanxingdui special?
Sanxingdui, literally in English “three stars mound”, is the name of an archaeological site in China, now believed to be the site of an ancient Chinese city.
Sanxingdui site is an ancient city, ancient state and ancient Shu culture site in the southwest of China, which enjoys the reputation as the largest in area, longest in time span and richest in cultural connotation.
With a total coverage of 12 square kilometers, Sanxingdui Site proved to be the capital of Shu state about over 3,000 years ago that is one of the largest and well-preserved known cities of the time in China.
This ancient culture had remarkably advanced bronze casting technology. Amongst the hoards of prize antiquities there are a variety of unique, grotesque bronzes, such as 2.62-meter-tall standing statue, 1.38-meter-wide bronze mask, 3.95-meter-high bronze tree, all of which stand out as treasures unparalleled.
The most striking finds were dozens of large bronze masks and heads (at least six with gold foil masks originally attached) represented with angular human features, exaggerated almond-shaped eyes, some with protruding pupils, and large upper ears.
Apart from bronze, Sanxingdui finds included jade artifacts consistent with earlier Chinese neolithic cultures, such as cong and zhang.
Situated in the northeast of the Sanxingdui Site by the bank of the Yazi River in Guanghan, Sanxingdui Museum is a modern theme museum which is 40 kilometers to the north of Chengdu.
The museum presents main exhibition including Ancient City, Ancient State and Ancient Shu Culture.