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Sanxingdui Treasures in Hong Kong Show

Al Kowsky

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The most important archaeological discovery in China began in 1927 when a farmer unearthed a group of treasures while plowing his field in Sichuan Province. Serious excavation of the site didn't begin until 1936, & was interrupted by the Communist Revolution that was declared a victory in 1949. Thousands of artifacts in bronze, gold, jade & ivory have since been found in the city of Sanxingdui & it's surroundings that date around 1,300 BC. Prior to this discovery it was thought that the "Bronze Age" began in the Shang Dynasty that was centrally located near the modern city of Anyang. The bronze castings found at Sanxingdui are different than the Shang bronzes, they are superior in quality & appearance, often looking bizarre. The culture & mythology at Sanxingdui was totally different from the Royal Shang Dynasty. Most of the treasures found at Sanxingdui were buried haphazardly in large, deep pits; & around 1,100 BC the people of Sanxingdui suddenly disappeared 😮. Theories abound as to what happened to these people, a massive flood is a popular theory. The Chinese government is sponsoring a show in Hong Kong featuring some of the latest discoveries from 9-27-2023 to 1-8-2024. 


In the fall of 2002 I drove to the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada to see some of the first treasures that were unearthed at Sanxingdui & was flabbergasted at what I saw 😲. The bronze figure pictured below is the largest ancient bronze ever discovered in China, it's 8.6 ft. tall & weighs 397 lbs. It is thought to be the reigning monarch who once held a large elephant tusk.


Photo Courtesy of the ROM.

Pictured below is a closeup of one of the burial pits at Sanxingdui. Photo Courtesy of the Chinese government.


Pictured below is one of the new discoveries unearthed at Sanxingdui, a mythical creature with a man standing on its head. Photo Courtesy of the Hong Kong Museum.


Edited by Al Kowsky
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