New digging to probe mystery of prehistoric Sanxingdui Ruins

CHENGDU, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists will launch a large-scale excavation at the prehistoric Sanxingdui Ruins in southwest China's Sichuan Province before the end of 2019.

The new excavation project aims to discover more items of the lost civilization, such as sacrificing and worshipping sites and aristocratic tombs, according to Tang Fei, head of the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute.

Tang said the upcoming excavation would involve more researchers at home and abroad, though he did not disclose the exact excavated area.

The Sanxingdui Ruins are in the city of Guanghan, around 38 km from Chengdu, capital of Sichuan. They are believed to be remnants of the Shu Kingdom which can be dated back 2,600 years to 4,800 years.

Listed among China's top 10 archaeological findings of the 20th century, the Sanxingdui Ruins, which sprawl over an area of 12 square kilometers, witness the diverse origins of Chinese civilization.

The ruins were accidentally discovered by a farmer when he unearthed a bright piece of jade while digging a ditch in 1929.

Two sacrificial pits filled with more than 1,000 national treasures, including gold masks, bronze ware, jade tablets, ivory and sacred trees, were discovered in 1986 when workers were excavating clay for bricks.

In 1988, the ruins were given state-level protection.