For our fourteenth episode, we head to the Sanxingdui archaeological site in Sichuan province with Harvard’s anthropology department professor of archaeology, Rowan Flad.
Dr. Flad shares insights on the importance of the Sanxingdui findings, an overview on archaeological sites across China within the context of Chinese history, and of course recommendations for archaeological sites in China open to visitors.
A little about Sanxingdui…
The archaeological site of Sanxingdui, often cited as one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, is located approximately one-hour (by car) from the Chengdu.
The findings at Sanxingdui radically changed the previous monolithic theory of China’s cultural development throughout history and opened the door for the concept of multiple cultures and societies existing independently at that time (12th to 11th century BC), eventually merging and morphing into what we now know as China.
Listen to Episode 14:
- 02:10 – How Rowan got into Chinese archaeology
- 06:04 – Sanxingdui mask and overall excavation
- 13:15 – What was the Sanxingdui site originally
- 19:36 – Terracotta Warriors vs Sanxingdui (history of archaeological finds in China)
- 28:38 – Varying interests in European and Egyptian archaeological finds vs Chinese ones
- 33:55 – The “public archaeology” craze in China
- 37:45 – How to visit archaeological sites in China
You can also listen to The China Travel Podcast on:
Places, resources and tips mentioned in the podcast:
Sanxingdui Site, Sichuan
- Sanxingdui gold mask: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/sanxingdui-mask-pit-scn/index.html
- Sanxingdui’s gold mask-sparked memes that Rowan refers to: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-56492881
Jinsha Site, Sichuan
Rowans Archaeology in Sichuan recommendations
- Sanxingdui Museum and Archaeological Site, Sichuan
- Jinsha Museum and Archaeological Site, Sichuan
- Zigong, Sichuan
- Liangzhu Archaeological Site, Zhejiang