Archaeology & History
Did an earthquake wipe out the Sanxingdui ?
By T.K. Randall
December 27, 2014 · 3 comments
Artifacts found at the site included jade figures and bronze masks. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 momo
Archaeologists have long pondered over the strange disappearance of the ancient Sanxingdu civilization.
Initial traces of this long lost culture were first unearthed in 1929 when a peasant repairing a sewage ditch near Chengdu in China found jade and stone artifacts in the ground.
Nothing further would come of the discovery however until 1986 when two pits full of Bronze Age treasures were discovered by archaeologists in the same area. Further studies revealed them to be a relic of the Sanxingdu, a sophisticated people who prospered in the region more than 3,000 years ago.
Despite being a seemingly successful and advanced civilization however the Sanxingdu appeared to have deliberately dismantled itself for reasons that have remained something of a mystery for years.
"The current explanations for why it disappeared are war and flood, but both are not very convincing," said study co-author Niannian Fan.
Instead, it is now believed that a large earthquake may have forced the Sanxingdu people to move to a different location by triggering landslides that blocked off their water supply.
The ruins of another city near Chengdu, known as Jinsha, seem to feature similar engravings which has lead scholars to conclude that this may have been where the Sanxingdu ended up.
Source: Live Science
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