The Jinsha Site was found in February 2001 in urban Chengdu. It covers five square-kilometers, and dates back to 12th to 7th century B.C. (approximately 2900 – 3200 years ago). It was the capital of the ancient Shu Kingdom, which is considered to be the ancient civilization center along Yangtze River. It is the first significant archaeological discovery in China at the beginning of the 21st century, and also a significant archaeological event following the discovery of the Sanxingdui site in Sichuan Province. Therefore, it has become one of the Ten Major Archaeological Discoveries of China in 2001.
So far, archaeologists have unearthed important features of large-scale palace foundation, sacrificial area, residential area, and burial site. On the site, a great variety of artifacts in large numbers were unearthed, including more than 5,000 articles of gold, bronze, jade, stone, ivory, and lacquered wood, as well as millions of pottery potsherds, tons of ivory and thousands of boar tusks and deer horns. Therefore, it is considered that the Jinsha site has unearthed the richest gold and jade wares and the most centralized elephant tusks in the world. At present, it can be confirmed that after the decline of Sanxingdui civilization, Jinsha site should be another arisen center of politics, economy and culture in Chengdu Plain mainly from late Shang Dynasty to Western Zhou Dynasty, and also one of the most important archaeological sites of Pre-Qin period in China.
The discovery of Jinsha site is of great significance for the study of Shu culture, including its origin, development, and decline, and provides convincing evidence for an explanation of the abrupt disappearance of Sanxingdui culture. Jinsha site revived the lost glory of ancient Shu kingdom, and revealed a part of ancient civilization. To be with the ruins of prehistorical cities, the Sanxingdui site and the canoe-shape coffin graves of the Warring States period, Jinsha and all the sites in the Chengdu Plain represented the four different stages of ancient Shu culture. The discoveries not only have proved that the Chengdu Plain was the center of ancient civilization in the upper reaches of the Yangtze, and an important component of Chinese civilization, but also provided crucial evidence to the theory is that the origins of ancient Chinese civilization is unity of pluralism.
The discovery of Jinsha site has pushed forward the Chengdu history from 2,300 years ago to 3,000 years ago, which offer an opportunity to improve the popularity of Chengdu, the Historical and Cultural City of China. Since the discovery was unknown to the public, the Communist Party of China and the state leaders have extremely concerned about Jinsha site. The central leaders of China have inspected the site successively, and indicated to do a good job on excavation, conservation and construction of the site, as well as lots of famous experts also have come to here to investigate and direct the work of the site.