Jinsha Site Museum - Chengdu
The Jinsha Site Museum, located in Jinsha Village, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, is renowned as one of China's most significant archeological discoveries of the twenty-first century. Unearthed in 2001, it sheds light on the ancient Shu kingdom's culture, which was largely unknown before this discovery. The museum, established in 2007 directly over the site of discovery, showcases a wealth of cultural relics, including sacrifice places, large constructions, residential areas, and burial grounds that date back 3,000 years. These artifacts attract numerous archaeologists and enthusiasts of Chinese history annually.
The Jinsha Site was central in the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, offering valuable insights into the Shu Kingdom's glorious culture during these eras. As a National Relic Protection Unit, the museum is conveniently located just 5 km (about 3 miles) from downtown Chengdu, making it easily accessible to visitors.
Among the significant relics found here are gold, bronze, jade, ivory, and lacquerware artifacts. The museum's most prized exhibits include the Sunbird, a symbol of the Shu kingdom, and the Black Color Wood, derived from rare trees that have been preserved underground for millennia.
The Jinsha Site Museum is widely regarded as China's most important archeological discovery of the twenty-first century.
The Four Parts of the Jinsha Site Museum
- This semicircular hall covers an area of 7,600 sq. m. (24,934 sq. ft.) and offers a glimpse into the ecological environment from 3,000 years ago. It allows visitors to view the process of archaeological excavation and exhibits fine artifacts from the ancient Shu State civilization.
- A unique sunken structure with a basement, this hall utilizes high technology to recreate the civilization of the Shu State. It features scenes from daily life 3,000 years ago and explores the relationship between the Shu State and the Mayan civilization. The hall's highlight is the Gold Sun God Bird, a precious artifact with intricate design. This Hall is complete with a 3-D cinema and an interesting display on the life of those who populated the ancient Jinsha site during the Shu kingdom and the exquisite articles they made, as well as presentations on the origin, development, and evolution of Shu civilization.
Cultural Heritage Protection Center
- Located in the northeast, this center focuses on protecting and studying relics unearthed from the Jinsha Site. Nearby, the 4D Movie Theater presents performances showcasing Jinsha culture.
- Surrounded by ginkgos and other ancient trees, the garden features areas such as "Jade Road," "Sun Bird Sculpture," and "Western Hills." It's a beautiful space recommended for visitors.
Collections and Exhibits at the Jinsha Site Museum
- The Golden Sunbird: An emblem of the ancient Shu kingdom, known for its fine craftsmanship.
- Jade Artifacts: Reflecting the spiritual significance of jade in Shu culture.
- Bronze Ware: Showcasing the artistry of ancient China, with items that narrate the life of their creators.
- Ivory Carvings and Lacquerware: Displaying the luxurious lifestyle of the Shu kingdom's elite.
- The Culture Relics: Featuring over 5,000 relics, including bronze, jade, stone, ivory, and pottery items.
- Daily Life of the Ancient Shu: Artifacts depicting the routines, customs, and beliefs of the Shu people.
- Religious Practices and Sacrificial Sites: Exhibits revealing the Shu kingdom's religious rituals.
- Art and Culture: A dive into the artistic achievements of the Shu kingdom.
Interactive and Multimedia Exhibits
- Virtual Reality Experience: A VR tour to experience life in the ancient city.
- Interactive Touch Screens: Learn about each exhibit in multiple languages.
- Children's Archaeology Area: A hands-on archaeological experience for younger visitors.
One of the most engaging and interesting aspects of the museum is the arts performances, which are hosted all year round in the Jinsha Theatre. Through these performances, the glamour and splendor of the ancient Shu kingdom is recreated for visitors to experience first-hand. All in all, the Jinsha Site Museum preserves a momentous discovery and does a great job of inviting visitors to step into a fuller understanding of the relics and the now-extinct culture that created them.
If you decide to Tour Chengdu and visit the Jinsha Site Museum, it opens from 08:00 to 18:00 and the admission fee is 80 RMB per person.
One of the kneeling stone statues is very vivid, experts think that it is more likely the noble's slave or prisoner, this shows the Shu Kingdom has already powerful at that time. And another one to mention is The Sun Bird Gold, it is a circle and very thin, the design is hollow-up with 12 teeth-shaped sun-light rotation in the inner, outer layer is four god birds flying around the sun with head and feet connecting each other, this is called "Four Birds Around The Sun". In Chinese, the Arabic Numerals ''4" and "12" are frequently to use, such as Twelve months a year, Four seasons, Twelve Chinese Zodiac, Four directions, etc. This represents the ancestor's profound understanding of natural law. Now, many places such as Tianfu Square and Wide and Narrow Valley use the sign of Sun Bird to reflect the connotation of the Jinsha site.
Significance Of The Discovery Of Jinsha Site
Among all the excavated cultural relics, most are from the late Shang Dynasty (about 17th century B.C. to 11th century B.C.) and Early West Zhou Dynasty( about 11th century B.C. to 771 B.C.), and few are from the Spring and Autumn Period (about 770 B.C. to 476 B.C.). With the progress of excavation, there exist possibilities of greater discoveries. The discovery of the Jinsha site aroused great attention of society, especially archeologists all over the world, experts said the excavation of the Jinsha site is the most important discovery in the world in the 21st century after the discovery of the Sanxingdui site in Guanghan and it is significant to the study and research of China's Ancient Shu Kingdom. It reappeared as a brilliant Ancient Shu Kingdom, resurrected a lost history, and revealed a long-sleeping ancient civilization over 3,000 years.
After you have visited the Jinsha Site Museum, it's worth buying some souvenirs for memory, like Jade ornaments. Generally, the entrance fee is 80 RMB (13 USD), and for the 4D movies, you need to pay extra.
If you travel to Chengdu to visit the Jinsha Site Museum on May 12 and May 18 (Jinsha Museum Day), it will be free. The opening hours are 8:00 to 18:00 and also it's easy to get to Jinsha Site Museum like the other places to visit in Chengdu.
When you come to Chengdu, among the many Chengdu attractions, don't forget there is a glorious and classical Jinsha Site Museum awaiting for your visit. It can broaden your horizon and make you startle at the great wisdom of China's Ancient Shu People thousands years ago. So Jinsha Site Museum should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Chengdu.