The Sanxingdui Museum is near an archaeological site Tthat dates to the Neolithic, Shang and Zhou periods.In 1988 this site was declared a National Key Cultural Relics
Protected Unit, due to its scope, the wealth of its contents,
and the rarity and precious nature of its excavated objects.
The site is north of Nanxing Town of Guanghan City
in Sichuan Province. It is mainly located on the raised
platform between the Yazi River and the Mamu River
and it covers 12 square kilometers in total area. The
most concentrated parts of the site are at the towns of Sanxing, Rensheng, Zhenwu, and Huilong.
The artifacts from Sanxingdui have had global
influence. In 1986, two large Shang-period sacrificial pits
were unearthed with more than one thousand gold,
bronze, and jade objects, shocking the entire country and
shaking the world. Among other things, the finds proved
that Sanxingdui was the capital of the ancient Shu
Kingdom more than 3,000 years ago. Of all the objects
excavated at Sanxingdui, the bronzes are the most
fabulous and strange, with their high degree of historical,
artistic and scientific value.
Ceramics: Most of the ceramics unearthed at
Sanxingdui are made of ‘jiashahe’ clay and are made on
a wheel. They date mainly from four periods: the first
from some 4, 800 to 4,000 years ago,duringa
representative Neolithic period culture in the Sichuan
basin, the second is roughly contemporary with Xia to
Shang, the third with the late Shang, and the fourth with
late Shang to the early Western Zhou. From the shape,
decoration, and base and method of manufacture, the
above ceramics represent an unbroken line of
development of Shu culture.is high and these are well preserved.
Among them are ceremonial objects,
military objects and tools, with the
blades still as sharp as when they were
buried. The blades of these objects are
so very thin that one can see they were
ceremonial in nature and not for actual
work or warfare.
Gold objects: Not only were the
Gold objects excavated from
Sanxingdui very finely made but they
were quite special. They included face
masks and various kinds of ceremonial
equipment. Among them, a gold staff,
with a human head carved on top with
fish, birds, and grain is executed in a
fine manner with an extremely
Bronzes: The Sanxingdui bronzes
have been exhibited both inside and
outside China and have shaken the
field of art history. The imaginative
power of the human statues in
particular, their artistic exaggeration,
majesty, refinement, and execution
make them truly divine works among
Shang and Zhou bronzes.
This group of bronzes can roughly
be divided into two types. One is
ceremonial objects, and from the shape
and artistic style we can see
similarities to surrounding regions.
Another type of bronzes is strongly
religious in flavor: these constitute
religious statues, or idols. Among
them is a statue of a standing man who
is 2.62 meters high and weighs 180 kilograms. His nose is high and straight, his
eyes are large, his forehead is square and he has large ears from which hang
pierced earlobes. A long braid hangs down behind his head; he wears a resplendent
tall crown on his head, his body is covered with dragon-and cloud-patterned robe
that folds to the left; his left hand is raised, his right arm is folded across his chest,
his hands are large, the two feet are bare and he stands on a square pedestal.
Among Shang and Zhou bronzes, his shape and manner are absolutely unique.
Bronze heads and face masks were also among the superlative excavated
bronzes. Among these, one mask is 134 centimeters wide and 65 centimeters tall
and weighs ten kilograms. If one estimates the full height of a statue with these
proportions, it would be an awesome four meters. The mask has large ears and
high nose, and exaggerated eyes with protruding pupils.
The grounds and environment of the new museum are exceptionally beautiful.
The surrounding space is large and is arranged as in a park, with pools, collections
of stones, flowers and trees; the setting also borrows from the natural beauty of
the nearby streams.