You have to question the serendipity of history that the Terracotta Warriors of Xian were discovered just 11 short years before the stunning primordial gold-plated, bronze cast masks at Sanxingdui.
Had it been the other way around, would Chengdu now be China’s third-most popular tourist destination? Speculation gets us nowhere, but there seems something quite unjust about the general global ignorance surrounding one of China’s most mysterious and controversial archeological finds: two sacrificial pits containing elegant ivory and jade artifacts, intricate gold and bronze castings dating from the first millennium BCE.
These fabulous artistic products of the ancient past resonate so strongly as to appear to be descended from our future. Nobody has dug up any conclusive written records yet to explain perhaps the pits’ most baffling discovery: sensational ceramics from the third millennium BCE. These remnants of a technologically-proficient ancient society ridicule the long-unquestioned orthodoxy that Chinese culture originated in the Yellow River basin, prompting passionate debate among scholars about the correct interpretations of these artifacts and symbols.