Ashley and I woke up and decided (translation: I really wanted to go) we were going to make our way via public transportation to see a museum in a small, insignificant town to see something few people had heard of. Why? Because it’s there.
Our destination city was Guanghan 广汉 a city largely unknown until the remains of an ancient civilization was found in the 1980’s. For reasons that are unclear, these people are now known as the Shu. The artifacts found at Sanxingdui 三星堆, the name of the archeological site and the destination for Ashley and I, are carbon dated back to around 1,500 BCE.
With clay, ivory, jade and bronze artifacts the mysterious artifacts demonstrate a thriving economy, developed religious rituals and impressive craftsmanship. Some of pieces are similiar to what we had both seen in museums around the world, and some that looked odd, fantastical.
Unfortunately these artifacts are all anyone knows about this culture. The Shu leave no other records, oral or written, in Chinese history, forcing archeologists to simply base their explanations on other archeological sites. Leaving lots of questions, but also a very interested afternoon trip.