2nd Millenium B.C
The lost civilisation of Sanxingdui
The mysterious civilization of Sanxingdui, first discovered in the 1980s, is still very little understood, as we have yet to find any written records. Sanxingdui and the surrounding region may have been a cradle for peoples speaking Tibeto-Burman languages (including languages ancestral to Burmese, Jingpo, Naga, Zomi,etc.) It was a 2nd Millenium B.C. Bronze-Age civilization that existed the same time as Shang dynasty China, New Kingdom Egypt and ancient Babylon. Sanxingdui is in what is today Sichuan (in western China) but the Sanxingdui civilization was entirely distinct from the Yellow River civilization over a thousand kilometers to the northeast that gave rise to classical China. It was almost certainly connected to the later bronze age cultures of Yunnan and Myanmar. The ancestors of many of today's people in Myanmar may well have been linked to this still mysterious civilization. This bronze head is just one of hundreds of amazing bronze, jade and ivory finds from the Sanxingdui site. One of the few things we do seem to know is that brewing and drinking beer was a central part of Sanxingdui culture.