China's Sanxingdui Ruins hailed by UNESCO, overseas institutes
As more than 1,000 significant relics have been unearthed from new sacrificial pits at the legendary Sanxingdui Ruins site in southwest China, overseas research institutes, museums and international organizations have congratulated China on its new chapter of archaeological discoveries.
The uncovered cultural relics are large in scale and magnificent in nature, a testament to the diversity and similarity of ancient global civilizations that will also help promote cultural exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries, according to the officials and representatives.
Revered as one of the greatest archeological finds of the 20th century, the Sanxingdui Ruins entered a new era of excavation work starting from the second half of last year, which mainly involves its No. 3 to No. 8 sacrificial pits.
Riveting relics including bronzewares, ivories, jade, gold foils and stone tools were uncovered during recent archaeological digs.
Notably, a unique bronze figure with a square altar-shaped bronzeware held up in his hands and an extremely rare bronze ware 115cm in height were among the most head-turning discoveries.
The ruins located in southwest China's Sichuan Province, together with the Jinsha Ruins in the provincial capital of Chengdu, are applying for UNESCO World Cultural Heritage status, the provincial government said on Friday.
Ernesto Ottone, assistant director general for culture at UNESCO, regards the new discoveries of the site as a milestone in archaeology and human beings' understanding of Chinese civilization.
"At a time when many excavations have been forced to a halt due to COVID-19, this discovery is particularly inspiring," Ottone said in a congratulatory video on the site's new progress.
Ottone also spoke highly of the site as it provides crucial opportunities for cultural exchanges, research and dialogue, which dovetails with the values proposed by the UNESCO mission.
Webber Ndoro, director-general of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, congratulated the Chinese archaeologists and China for their long-term dedication to excavating and preserving the ruins.
The ICCROM is also ready to collaborate with China to ensure the high-level conservation and dissemination of the archaeological discoveries from the Sanxingdui Ruins, said Ndoro via video.
Marcos Antonio Santos Ramirez, curator of the museum of the Balankanche Cave in Mexico, and Anna Vasiliki Karapanagiotou, director of the National Archaeological Museum of Greece, also sent their congratulations to China via video messages.
The Sanxingdui Ruins were discovered by a farmer when he was digging a ditch in the 1920s. Covering 12 square kilometer, the ruins are in the city of Guanghan, about 60km from Chengdu, and are believed to be the remnants of the Shu Kingdom, dating back at least 4,800 years and lasting over 2,000 years.
Luo Qiang, vice governor of Sichuan, said the construction of the Sanxingdui National Heritage Park and a new museum is being accelerated to make Sanxingdui a world-famous tourist destination.
In 1986, 1,720 unique relics were unearthed in the No. 1 and No. 2 pits, arousing global interest.
In October 2019, archaeologists discovered six new sacrificial pits while investigating the area where the No. 1 and No. 2 pits are located.