Large 3000-Year-Old Building Unearthed at Jinsha Ruins

April 10, 2007 Updated: April 10, 2007

One year of archaeological excavations has led to another astonishing discovery at the Jinsha Ruins in southwest China's Sichuan Province—a 3000-year-old building of the ancient Shu Kingdom, covering more than 230 square meters, has been unearthed. It is believed to be the largest and most complete architecture with aristocratic style and design ever excavated at the Jinsha Ruins.

Xinhua Net reported that the building unearthed was located in the northeast of the Jinsha Ruins with an excavation area of more than 2000 square meters. According to archaeologists, the newly discovered relic of Jinsha Ruins was originally constructed at the late Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 BC) about 3000 years ago.

The ancient building covers an area of 23 meters long and 9.9 meters wide, with five spacious rooms, while the house of a civilian at that time was only about 5-meter long and 3-meter wide.

The large building has the living area about 15 times as large as that of an average residence house of that time, and foot-wide pillars and log-and-clay walls were extensively used in the construction. Archaeologists believe that the ancient architectural complex was more likely a mansion for a high-ranking member of the nobility, an ancestral shrine or a large temple.

Archaeologists and scholars also point out that this large architecture unearthed at Jinsha relic site has provided exceptional material evidence for gaining a greater understanding of the Shu culture's archeology field in Shang and Zhou dynasties.

The Jinsha Ruins were discovered in the western suburbs of Chengdu City in 2001 by accident. Archaeologists regard the Jinsha Ruins as one of Sichuan's most important archaeological finds after the discovery of Sanxindui Ruins in Guanghan City.

The discovery of Jinsha Ruins changes the dates for the existence of the ancient Shu Kingdom from 2500 to 3000 years ago. The Jinsha Ruins are constituted of many different functional areas, including sacrifice area, palace area, graveyard and residential area. Viewing the scale, function separation of the site as well as the amount and quality of cultural relics unearthed, Jinsha is another regional political and cultural center of the civilization of ancient Shu.

As one of the most important archaeological discoveries in China, Jinsha has proved that it had at least 500 brilliant years of civilization in the Chengdu Plain.