Fate of Mysterious Ancient Chinese Civilisation Explained

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tags: China, Sanxingdui, Sichuan



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New research may finally explain the fate of a mysterious Chinese civilisation that flourished for thousands of years before abruptly vanishing 3,000 years ago.

The Sanxingdui civilisation existed in what is now Sichuan province in China, between 3,000 and 5,000 years ago. A host of fascinating relics from the ancient civilisation suggest it was incredibly sophisticated and unlike anything else archaeologists have found from this period of Chinese history. Around 1 BCE the Sanxingdui suddenly stopped, and archaeologists have struggled to explain why.

Previously, it had usually been theorised that the cause of the Sanxingdui’s demise was either war or flood, explanations which co-author of the new study from the Tsinghua University, Niannian Fan, described as “not very convincing”. 

According to the new study, an earthquake between 2,800 and 3,000 years ago caused massive landslides which dammed the Sanxingdui’s main water source and diverted it elsewhere. The report concludes that the people of the ancient civilisation simply relocated to the new destination of their water supply.




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