| Puzzles of Sanxingdui Through the Ages
Sanxingdui is another source of Chinese civilization. The unique and
wonderful Sanxingdui culture civilization tells us that the source
of Chinese civilization is pluralistic. There was not only the Yellow
River civilization, but also the Yangtze River civilization in China.
Sanxingdui represents the Yangtze River civilization. At the same
time, a new field of study field has opened up in academic circles.
Many important academic problems about Sanxingdui form puzzles through
the ages. The puzzles of Sanxingdui and ancient Shu history will hopefully
be unlocked in the future.
What is the source of Sanxingdui culture? Is it either from the
New Stone Age culture in the upper reaches of the Su River, or from
a certain kind of ancient regional culture moving upstream? Is there
any relationship between Sanxingdui culture and Longshan culture
in Shandong? Is the main part from Shandong? Is Sanxingdui culture
the result of a combination of native and foreign culture, or the
combination of many kinds of cultures? Maybe it was a purely local
Where was the source of Sanxingdui inhabitants, belonging to Diqiang,
Puren, Ba, Dongyi, Yue or Sanmiao (all of these were ancient national
minorities)? Was there any close relationship between the stone-buried
coffin culture in the upper reaches of the Ming River and Sanxingdui?
Is it true that these natives came from Diqiang in the northwest
and the upper reaches of the Ming River? Were the Sanxingdui inhabitants
descendants of aborigines?
What was ancient Shu Kingdom really like? What were the nature
of politics and religion? Was it a loose tribal military league?
Or was it a regional kingdom ruled by a dynasty in the central plains?
Was the ancient country higher than a stable, relatively independent
early country? Was it the native's own kingdom which was founded
in earlier time? Which is the main force: a secular or religious
authority? Pr was it a combination of both?
The worship problem reflected by Sanxingdui cultural relics was
complex, too. Some thought it was totems, while some thought it
was nature worship without any totems, But most people believe the
religious worship was a complex system involving a mix of many types,
including nature worship, ancestor worship and god worship. Sanxingdui
reflects a system in which a multi-level political center formed
a net-like structure.
How did the miraculous bronze smelting technique and the culture
symbolized by the Sanxingdui bronze ware come into being? Are they
the results of ancient Shu people's independent developing or affected
by nearly countries, especially by the central plains' culture?
Or it is the results of adopting foreign cultures, such as those
from Western Asia, East, and South Asia? Many scholars thought the
bronze ware represented a combination of ancient Shu culture and
foreign culture, but with the local factor dominant.
How long did the ancient Kingdom last? Why did it disappear suddenly?
Which lasted the longest - the Yufu, Duyu or Kaiming Dynasty? Generally,
people thought there was a long development course. It lasted over
1,000 years, and had a close relationship with several ancient Shu
dynasties in legends. Maybe it had disappeared by the end of Shang
Dynasty. The reason of its disappearance may be the change of regime.
Later, the center of politics and culture moved to Chengdu and its
What is the age and nature of the two sacrificial pits? Was it
in the period of the Shang Dynasty, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn
Dynasty, or the Warrior States, etc? The tendency in academic circles
is to accept the age as being that of the Shang Dynasty. It means
No.1 pit was created at about the time of the first period of the
Ying Ruins. No.2 pit was equivalent to the second period of the
Ying Ruins. Regarding the nature of the pits, some said they were
burial pits, while others have suggested they are merely utensil
pits. But, the most representative idea is that the two pits were
sacrificial pits. The two pits were the places where ancient Shu
people offered grand sacrifices. The aim of their worship was heaven,
or earth, or the gods, or the ancestors. The choice of aims has
a relationship with the change of regimes.
Many unearthed utensils of Spring and Autumn Dynasty, the Warrior
States in Sichuan had some designs and insignias, which were called
"Ba Shu picture words". Are they tribal words? Are they
pictures or some special symbols? Maybe parts of them had the meaning
of words. An understanding of the "Ba Shu picture words"
is sure to help unlock the puzzles of ancient Shu in Sanxingdui.
The puzzle of Sanxingdui is a puzzle of the ages. but it will be