Treasures of Chengdu

Authors: China Daily


The Jinsha Site Museum reminds visitors of fantastic lanterns and snacks from different parts of the world.
For first-time visitors to Chengdu like Palumbo, Jinsha's popular ancient artifacts - including the sunbird gold foil and the "smiling" gold mask - could have been created by extraterrestrials.
The artifacts are so popular that a circular golden emblem showing four flying birds around the sun is found in many parts of the city. It is even seen on the engine hoods of taxis, the overpass en route to the airport and on the local television channel.
The emblem is a replica of the sunbird gold foil which was found in the Jinsha Ruins in the western part of Chengdu in February 2001. It is on display at the Jinsha Site Museum, which was built on the ruins.
Jinsha, which literally means Gold Sand in Chinese, lives up to its name. On Feb 8, 2001, workers at a real estate construction site in Jinsha village in the Qingyang district of Chengdu found ivory and jade artifacts in the debris.
Archaeologists were then called in and since then have excavated some 10,000 relics including gold, jade, bronze and stone artifacts besides tens of thousands of pottery and ceramic pieces.
The excavation of the Jinsha Ruins was hailed as one of the top 10 archaeological finds that year by the Archaeological Society of China and China Cultural Relics News.
The ruins, covering an area of 4 square kilometers, include a sacrificial site, a palace, houses and a graveyard.
The ruins may be the remains of the capital of the ancient state of Shu, dating back from the late Shang (c. 16th century-11th century BC) to the early Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), says Wang Yi, the curator of the Chengdu Museum. Shu was the name for Sichuan in ancient times.
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