In Sanxingdui Museum in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, an ongoing exhibition examines the great mystery of where a culture thousands of years ago might have come from and why it abruptly vanished.
Behind the strange bronze masks is one of the origins of Chinese civilization.
They were all unearthed from the Sanxingdui Ruins, located in Guanghan city of Southwest China’s Sichuan province.
It all began when a farmer came across jadeware while digging a ditch in the spring of 1929. This opened the door to an unknown culture between 3,000 to 5,000 years old.
In 1986, archaeologists found two large-scale sacrificial pits dating from the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE) some 3,000 years ago.
Thousands of rare treasures were dug out. This made quite a stir. It was hailed as “the ninth wonder of the world”. Experts dug out large numbers of strange bronze images and animals from the ruins.
“I’m really impressed by the elaborate and intricate bronzeware and jade artifacts. It’s hard to imagine that a culture that produced such wonderful things eventually faded away. I also get to learn a lot more about ancient rituals and cultures. Totally worth it,” said one audience member.
To this day, discoveries at the Sanxingdui site continue to be an enigma. Still, no texts have been unearthed and no historical records of the Sanxingdui culture have been found in the annals of nearby areas, casting a cloud of mystery over the entire site.