Treasures of Chengdu

Authors: China Daily


The Jinsha Site Museum reminds visitors of fantastic lanterns and snacks from different parts of the world.
Cultural heritage
The sunbird gold foil and the "smiling" gold mask are on display on the second floor of the museum. Both the artifacts are believed to be about 3,000 years old.
Measuring 12.5 cm in diameter and weighing 20 grams, the sunbird gold leaf is a mere 0.02 cm thick. It has four birds cut out of it. The gold leaf is seen as an illustration of an ancient Chinese myth recorded in the classic Shan Hai Jing, or the Classic of Mountains and Seas, written some 2,500 years ago.
According to the book, the ancients believed the sun was carried up to the sky in the morning and pulled down at dusk by four birds.
The State Administration of Cultural Heritage adopted the sunbird gold foil as China's symbol of cultural heritage in 2005. Explaining its choice, the administration cited "its exquisite craftsmanship and representation of the worship of the sun".The "smiling" gold mask, which is about 3.7 cm tall and 4.9 cm wide is very thin and has brows like a crescent moon and eyes like almonds. Its half-open mouth gives it a smiling effect.
The mask is unique, for gold masks like it have never been found before, says deputy curator Zhu Zhangyi, who was one of the archaeologists working on the excavation of the Jinsha Ruins.
The "smiling" gold mask was not worn by any living person. Instead, it was affixed to a bronze human head or a wooden human head, he says.
Some scholars say the bronze head represents the soul of a dead ancestor, while others hold that it is the image of a necromancer and the bronze head is probably that of a high-ranking shaman. Despite these views, the certainty is that bronze heads were worshipped by people who believed that they were channels to higher beings.
Meanwhile, Hu Xiaorong, a senior guide, says the artifacts unearthed from the Jinsha Ruins and on display in the museum were used for sacrificial purposes. About 3,000 years ago, the ancient state of Shu held sacrificial ceremonies on important occasions. And gold, jade, and ivory were offered to the deities, she says.
During the lantern show, actors simulate an ancient sacrificial ceremony. Separately, visitors can go to the sites where archaeologists found the artifacts. The spots are marked with the photos of the unearthed artifacts. Boar and deer bones can also be seen at the site. To let visitors feel what the site was like, the museum authorities have built a deer park in the area.
For Yu Hong, a 78-year-old pensioner who lives near the museum, the facility with its bamboo and trees is a fascinating place."There are peaches and plums in spring, while in summer the museum is lush and verdant because of its bamboo, trees and grass. And, in autumn, it has yellow gingko leaves, while in winter the fragrance of plum blossoms is ubiquitous," says Yu.
(source:, May 31, 2017)
<<  <  1  2  3  >  >>

Transportation Hub Chengdu Connects the World

A transportation network of air traffic, rail transportation and expressways to extend its reach to other parts of China and foreign countries is taking shape, promoting Chengdu’s role of top transportation hub in western China and making it one of the central cities in China.

Jul 22, 2016

Kunqu Opera: The Peony Pavilion (Youth Version)

The Kunqu Opera The Peony Pavilion (Youth Version) is divided into three parts, each of which will be separately staged in sequence at Jincheng Art Palace Sept. 5-7.

Sep 01, 2016

2017 Donghu Arts Festival

The ongoing 3rd Donghu Arts Festival, to last till Feb. 19, brings to the public several theme events including New Year activities, New Year art exhibition, interactive experience activity and Spring Festival carnival.

Jan 09, 2017

Arts exchanges boost partnership

Chengdu and Madrid co-host events to celebrate friendly relations and cultural heritage.

Feb 24, 2017

Dance Drama: Peacock of Winter

The Peacock is in four parts titled Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter respectively to symbolize life’s journey reflecting a story about growth, human nature and love.

Feb 15, 2017

Share to WeChat Close
Scan via WeChat!

About Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Link to Us | Contact Us

蜀ICP备14024942号-1 Go成都