3,000-year-old mythical creature artifact found in China
A relic that dates back to the Shu kingdom is discovered in Sichuan, China.
In the Bronze-Age archaeological site of Sanxingdui in southwest China, a large 3,000-year-old bronze relic in the shape of a mythical creature was found, that is 150 kg and about 90 cm in height.
This animal-shaped bronze artifact, discovered in sacrificial pit No.8, is the most complete animal-shaped piece of ancient bronze found at the site, which has been in the scope of archeological research since the 1980s.
The bronze creature has a sacred tree engraved on its chest and a horn on its head, along with a bronze statue of a man standing on it.
Archaeologists have interpreted the figure, drawing a narrative that the man may be attempting to control the creature.
The Sanxingdui archaeological site is located in the Sichuan region of China. Although it was officialized in 1986, local communities have recognized its ancient artifacts as early as the 1920s. Although around 14,000 artifacts have been found at this site, the aforementioned relic is the first of its kind.
The site dates back to the ancient kingdom of Shu, which reigned until 316 BCE. Thousands of gold, bronze, jade and other artifacts made with precious metals have been discovered at the site.
Zhao Hao, an excavation team member, told China Global Television Network that “Since the first excavation at Sanxingdui in 1986, the unearthed mythical beasts have been smaller in size, only about 20 to 30 centimeters long."
Zhao went on to describe the relic and what it meant for the relevant communities: “The tree is engraved directly on it and can be seen as Sanxingdui people’s worship of the sacred tree, or has taken the sacred tree as a kind of divine presence.”
The excavation of pit No. 8 is bound to completion between September and October.