New research promotes a theory that an ancient civilization in China did not mysteriously disappear as once believed, but had actually migrated to a more hospitable region, due to geological catastrophe.
History has proven that, civilizations, cities, languages, and lives have all been consumed by the passing millenniums, only to be lost and forgotten beneath the layers of strata. Ancient men and women, built colossal structures, not only for the purpose of their day-to-day needs, but as monuments to their lives. Often, these people disappeared without trace, leaving behind puzzling, forlorn relics of who they once were. These beloved treasures of our long-lost ancestors are often the first articles to be discovered by modern humanity. Then researchers and scientists piece together the artifacts and items, in hopes to determine the rise and demise of their ancient owners.
A strikingly similar story began to unfold in the Chinese province of Sichuan, in 1929, after a peasant had discovered artifacts made of jade and stone, while repairing a drainage ditch near the city of Chengdu. The peasant’s discovery began a 60 year study of the region, continuing through the mid 1980’s when archaeologists discovered massive bronze statues, works of jade and other artifacts that displayed the knowledge of an advanced, ancient civilization, that was lost to the ages.
The relics were left in a horrid state of disarray, many were left smashed, broken, and discarded. Scientists believed that these items belonged to the Sanxingdui, people who lived and mysteriously vanished over 3,00 years ago.
14 years ago, another ancient city, named Jinsha, had been discovered 40km southwest of Sanxingdui, and produced artifacts that possessed uncanny similarities to the ones found in the aforementioned site. Scientists believe that these two remotely distant sites were actually created by the same group of people, after a massive earthquake occurred near Sanxingdui, causing landslides that diverted the water which supplied the ancient city.
Co-author of the study,Niannian Fan, believes that geological records support his hypothesis, due to a massive earthquake that occurred in the region in 1099 B.C. This geological catastrophe created landslides that subsequently diverted the waters of the Minjiang river, and cut off the water supply of Sanxingdui.
Although, Fan’s theory is noted to be somewhat far-fetched, it is believed to be plausible. Similar events had occurred in unrelated ancient cultures, and produced similar results. What is believed to be the most inconclusive discovery is that, although the city of Jinsha produced artifacts that were similar to those found in Sanxingdui, they were not as technologically advanced. This implies that after the theorized migration, the ancient people of Sanxingdui had lost much of their amassed and advanced knowledge or the people of Jinsha, had no correlation to the other city.