Focus on new discoveries in Sanxingdui

  Recently, the release of new archaeological results in Sanxingdui, Sichuan, has attracted attention to the mysterious ancient Shu ruins.

The excavation cabins and various advanced equipment with a sense of science and technology at the archaeological site have also attracted a lot of fans among young people.

  The new discovery of the six “sacrifice pits” helps to solve many puzzles surrounding the Sanxingdui site, enriches and deepens people’s understanding of the Sanxingdui culture and its relationship with surrounding areas, and is also a study of the historical process of the pluralistic integration of Chinese civilization Provides new physical information.

  ⒈Why the Sanxingdui site is eye-catching

  The Sanxingdui site is located in Sanxingdui Town, Guanghan City, Sichuan Province, on the south bank of the Mianjiang (Duck River), a tributary of the Tuojiang River in the northern part of the Chengdu Plain.

The site is named after the "Hanzhou Chronicles" during the Jiaqing period of the Qing Dynasty: "The famous area of ​​Guanghan, the old land of Luocheng...the east is the spring and the ten thousand springs, and the west is accompanied by the three stars of the moon."

The Sanxingdui site has an area of ​​about 12 square kilometers and is the largest and highest-level central site discovered in the Xia and Shang period in the Sichuan Basin.

  Since Sanxingdui No. 1 and No. 2 "sacrifice pits" were excavated in 1986, the Sanxingdui site has attracted the attention of the world.

The 2.6-meter-high bronze man, the majestic and majestic bronze tree, the large golden rod with exquisite decorations, the exaggerated bronze mask and the bronze head with a gold mask...a lot of unprecedented unearthed in the two pits The precious cultural relics have revealed a new face of bronze culture, and also brought many puzzles that researchers are eager to explore.

  From the 1980s to the present, through large-scale investigation, exploration and excavation work, important relics such as the ancient city of Sanxingdui, the small city of Moon Bay, the small city of Cangbaobao, the base of Qingguan Mountain, and the cemetery of Rensheng Village have been discovered successively, and the distribution of Sanxingdui sites has been continuously identified Scope and structure layout.

From November 2019 to May 2020, archaeologists discovered 6 new "sacrifice pits" of the Sanxingdui culture.

  According to Lei Yu, a researcher at the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the head of the Sanxingdui workstation, the six newly discovered pits and the two excavated in 1986 are located in the eastern part of the platform between the Sanxingdui city wall and the southern city wall, and the surrounding areas are related to sacrificial activities. Rectangular trenches, circular pits and large trench-style buildings.

After several months of excavation, more than 500 pieces of cultural relics such as golden mask fragments, bird-shaped gold ornaments, painted copper heads, giant bronze masks, and exquisite tooth carving fragments have been unearthed.

  Song Xinchao, deputy director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, pointed out that this new discovery will enrich and deepen our understanding of Sanxingdui culture, help to understand the relationship between the Chengdu Plain and the surrounding area culture more comprehensively, and help solve the "sacrifice pit" at Sanxingdui site. Key issues such as the nature, cultural connotation and dating of Sanxingdui culture.

  ⒉What are the innovations of this archaeological excavation?

  "This time our archaeological excavation is innovative in concepts and methods." Ran Honglin, the person in charge of the archaeological excavation site at Sanxingdui site, told reporters that cultural relic protection runs through the entire excavation process, from plan preparation, facility and equipment configuration to specific work operations. , Cultural relics protection personnel participate in all links.

The entire excavation area is covered by an archaeological greenhouse, and six "sacrifice pits" have been built with working cabins with constant temperature and humidity.

The staff all wear protective clothing to enter and work on the lifting platform without touching the ground in the pit.

There is also an emergency protection laboratory at the archaeological site, using advanced technology to escort the unearthed cultural relics.

  Multi-disciplinary integration and multi-team cooperation are also a major feature.

The excavation work was participated by more than 30 units including the Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and Peking University.

"Multidisciplinary researchers from different units not only participate in archaeological excavations, but also participate in the setting of research plans and sample collection, so as to avoid the situation of archaeological excavations and multidisciplinary research "two skins"." Ran Honglin said, according to the excavation For specific issues, researchers are selected in a targeted manner, such as the study of the ash layer of Pit No. 4, and firefighters are specially invited to participate, which has never been seen in previous archaeological excavations.

  In addition, there is a 24-hour uninterrupted shooting system in the archaeological greenhouse, and special personnel are arranged to collect and record information.

"Archaeological excavation is an irreversible process. We keep as much information as possible to provide sufficient information for future research." Ran Honglin said.

  Wang Wei, head of the expert advisory group for archaeological excavations in the "sacrifice area" of Sanxingdui, member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and chairman of the Chinese Society of Archaeology, believes that the domestic multi-unit and multidisciplinary participation in the excavation and research work of Sanxingdui has built first-class archaeological excavation greenhouses and working cabins The laboratory facilities are an active exploration and practice of striving to build "Chinese characteristics, Chinese style, and Chinese style" archaeology, and will play a leading and demonstrative role in the development of large-scale archaeological projects in the future.

  ⒊What new discoveries are worth paying attention to

  According to Ran Honglin, pits 3, 4, 5, and 6 have been excavated to the artifact level, and pits 7 and 8 are being cleared and filled with soil.

Compared with the previous pits 1 and 2, the 6 pits excavated this time have the same basic shape and orientation. The types of unearthed cultural relics are similar, but some new shapes have appeared.

  127 ivory and more than 100 bronzes were unearthed in Pit 3, which is particularly eye-catching.

One of the large-mouthed statues with a height of nearly 70 cm is decorated with animal heads and bird heads on the shoulders. Its size is larger than similar artifacts unearthed in Pit No. 1 and 2.

"There is also a copper statue with a round mouth cube, which is similar in appearance to a handed down in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. This shape is the first to be seen in archaeological excavations." Ran Honglin said.

  The kneeling portrait of the top deity is also an important cultural relic unearthed in Pit 3.

Ran Honglin told reporters that a bronze object with a similar image was unearthed at Sanxingdui No. 2 Pit, only about 15 cm, and this bronze is 1.15 meters high.

The bronze statue on the top of the portrait is close to the shape of the bronze statue in the Yangtze River basin, and the four dragon-shaped attachments on the shoulders are unique decorations of Sanxingdui. Among them, two dragons are very similar to the dragon decorated on the No. 1 bronze sacred tree.

"This is the ancient Shu people who have made their own transformation on the basis of drawing on the bronze ware shapes of the Central Plains, reflecting the unique cultural features of the ancient Shu country."

  Experts extracted silk protein from the ashes of Pit 4. This is the first time that the residues of silk products have been discovered in the archaeology of Sanxingdui, which is of great significance.

Regarding the nature, use and distribution of silk products, further research is needed.

  The golden mask that appeared in the hot search on the Internet came from Pit 5.

Its gold content is about 85%, and its appearance is similar to a complete golden mask unearthed at the Jinsha site in Chengdu.

According to the speculation of half of the masks seen so far, the complete weight of this golden mask exceeds 500 grams, making it the largest golden mask found in the same period.

What's interesting is that both the golden masks unearthed in Sanxingdui and Jinsha have small circular holes in their ears. Experts speculate that the ancient Shu people have the custom of drilling ear holes.

In addition, bird-shaped gold ornaments, a large number of gold foil pieces, jade pipe beads, and ivory products carved with fine patterns were unearthed in Pit 5.

  A mysterious "wood box" was found in Pit No. 6, about 1.7 meters long and 0.4 meters wide, with cinnabar smeared on the inside and outside.

Ran Honglin said that this kind of woodware is very rare in the archaeology of the Chengdu Plain. No cultural relics such as bronze, pottery, jade, etc. have been found inside. It is possible that silk fabrics or perishable and volatile items such as wine and meat have been stored.

  ⒋How do archaeological achievements "fly into the homes of the people"

  "Archaeological excavations are not just a matter of the industry, but are related to the whole society. We announce the staged archaeological results to let the public understand the progress of Sanxingdui archaeology, accept social supervision, and absorb valuable opinions." Ran Honglin revealed that the newly excavated cultural relics may be Will meet with the public at the end of this year.

As the excavation work progresses, after a certain result has been accumulated, it will be announced to the public.

  In March this year, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage has identified "Study on the Civilization Process of Bashu in Sichuan and Chongqing" as a major project of "Archaeological China".

According to the project plan, the next step will be to systematically study the evolution of civilization in the Sichuan-Chongqing region and the historical process of integrating it into the overall structure of the Chinese nation’s pluralism. Communication and influence.

  "The creation of the Sanxingdui National Cultural Relics Protection and Utilization Demonstration Zone is also one of our key tasks." Song Xinchao said.

In December 2019, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage and the People's Government of Sichuan Province signed a cooperation agreement to support Sichuan's establishment of a national cultural relics protection and utilization demonstration zone based on the Sanxingdui site.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage will continue to guide the Sichuan Provincial Administration of Cultural Relics and the local people’s government in the construction of the Sanxingdui National Archaeological Site Park, the preservation of unearthed cultural relics, and the construction of the new museum. It will further enhance the display and utilization level of the Sanxingdui site through various means, and make the Sanxingdui culture better. "Fly into the homes of ordinary people" well.

  "We have built a new cultural relics restoration exhibition hall, which will open in April to show the public the process of restoration of Sanxingdui cultural relics." Zhu Yarong, deputy curator of the Sanxingdui Museum, told reporters that the newly excavated cultural relics have been sorted out and the restoration plan has been determined by experts. , Will be repaired in the museum.

  Prior to this, the Sanxingdui Museum has solicited project proposals for the new Sanxingdui Museum and ancillary facilities around the world. 57 top domestic and foreign design teams participated in the design, including more than 20 international teams.

Zhu Yarong introduced that the plan will be determined shortly after being selected by experts.

The construction of the new museum is expected to start at the end of this year and is expected to be completed in three years.

"The new hall is a cultural relics exhibition hall, which will centrally and systematically display the cultural relics unearthed from the Sanxingdui site. After the new hall is completed, the functions of the previous two halls will be adjusted. Hall 1 may be changed to a research hall and Hall 2 as a digital experience hall. ."

Zou Yating

Zou Yating