Unusual-China-Bronze



While digging in spring of 1929, a farmer at Yuelingwan Village of Guanghan County, Sichuan Province, happened to find a pit full of funerary objects made of jade. In the 1950s, archeologists began their work at the site and, as time went by, a 15 square kilometer-area at Sanxingdui in Guanghan, came to be identified as a treasure house of cultural relics produced 4,800-2,000 years ago.

The site, named as Sanxingdui by experts, has stunned the world archeological community for a unique cultural importance. Among the numerous cultural relics excavated from there, there is a bronze human figure 262 centimeters tall. The statue, barefooted and with a pair of bracelets round the ankles, stands on a platform. It “wears” a long robe with cloud patterns. Also unearthed from the Sanxingdui site are several life-sized head sculptures of bronze, as well as animal head sculptures and masks, which are also of bronze. All the faces are thin, with large, extruding eyes, big ears and square lower jaws, while the mouths are tightly shut. Studies of primitive religions have led to the discovery that the prehistory people invariably worshipped idols in the shape of animals which, as time went by, were replaced by half animal, half human figures and, finally, by supernatural beings in human shape. This process reflected changes in position of the human being in nature. Bronze human figures of Sanxingdui, which are semi-realistic, semi-abstract in artistic style, are the earliest of their kind found in China. From these we may acquire some idea of the physiques and facial looks of the people in the area when these cultural relics were produced.