Archaeology: these new discoveries that question the origins of Chinese civilization

Archaeology: these new discoveries that question the origins of Chinese civilization

Sébastien Le Belzic 10:53 am, June 17, 2022

It is a significant archaeological discovery of the 21st century. New bronzes have been found in the ruins of Sanxingdui, China. Archaeologists are on the trail of a previously unknown dynasty. The existence of this ancient kingdom would support the thesis of a Chinese civilization with multiple origins.

More than 13,000 relics have been discovered in Sichuan province in the south-west of the country, specifically in Sanxingdui, a 3,000-year-old fortified city. Archaeologists have uncovered tombs and sacrificial pits with offerings of gold, jade and bronze. “The special thing about the discovered pits is that they contain a lot of pieces,” explains the excavation manager at the microphone of Europe 1.

tens of thousands of parts

“Some [pièces] are really tiny. We have already excavated several thousand of them, and when the entire excavation is completed, there could be tens of thousands more, which is extraordinary.” Among the 13,000 objects recently found in Sanxingdui, the one we are talking about is the Plus grille covering a twisted bronze turtle shell.

Photo Credit: SHEN BOHAN / XINHUA / XINHUA VIA AFP

A civilization that appeared 4,500 years ago

These are mostly masks and sculptures, lifting the veil of an ancient kingdom, that of the Zhou kings, whose craftsmanship and cultural influences differed greatly from those of the rest of China. There is no written record of this civilization, which emerged 4,500 years ago and thrived on the fringes of the Han ethnic group that dominates China today. Its existence would therefore support the thesis of a Chinese civilization with multiple origins. Until then, historians believed that the Yellow River, the second longest river in China, was the only cradle of the Middle Kingdom in Beijing.