golden sands

July 21st, 2007

Another interesting piece, also a China Daily article rep[ublished at, this time on the Jinsha culture of ancient Sichuan. Looking at the pictures of the relics, I was reminded of the Sanxingdui bronzes. Except, of course, that the Jinsha relics were gold, according to this article. But Wikipedia, in an extremely short article (so short that the China Daily article actually provides more information, if you can believe that) backs up my impression:

Jinsha (Chinese: 金沙; Pinyin: JÄ«nshÄ?) is an archaeological site in Sichuan, China. Located in the western suburbs of Chengdu, Jinsha was accidentally discovered in February 2001 during real estate construction. Located about 50 kilometers away from Sanxingdui, the site flourished around 1000 BC and shares similarities in burial objects with the Sanxingdui site. Ivory, jade artifacts, bronze objects, gold objects and carved stone objects were found at the site. Unlike the site at Sanxingdui, Jinsha did not have a city wall.

Yep, that’s the entire Wikipedia article.

And in looking for those Wikipedia articles, I managed to come across this article, which informs me that:

The years 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036, 2048, 2060 etc. (every 12 years — 8 AD) are considered the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac.

The Chinese zodiac purports that people born in the Year of the Dragon are healthy, energetic, excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. They are also supposedly honest, sensitive, brave, and inspire confidence and trust. The Chinese zodiac purports that people whose zodiac sign is the dragon are the most eccentric of any in the eastern zodiac. They supposedly neither borrow money nor make flowery speeches, but tend to be soft-hearted which sometimes gives others an advantage over them. They are purported to be compatible with people whose zodiac sign is of the rat, snake, monkey, and rooster.

Uh, right. Well, I suppose some of that is true of me, and my wife would assure you that I am stubborn and short-tempered, but that’s how astrology works, isn’t it? And how did I come across this? Wikipedia’s page of search results for Shu informed me that ‘Shu’ could be a Chinese word for dragon. Why? I don’t know.

3 Responses to “golden sands”

  1. John Says:

    I’m pretty certain I’ve seen the name on my travels here, although I don’t recall where exactly. If only I’d known the significance.

  2. leigh Says:

    hey, it’s me again. are you deeply attracted by Chinese ancient culture? coz you blogged a lot about Chinese history.

    as for the Chiense zodiac, my brother is a dragon and part of description is true. i mean the ‘soft-heartedness’. but he does borrow money from people and the worst thing is that he won’t return it immediately!!!
    btw, i don’t think ‘shu’ is a word for dragon.

  3. wangbo Says:

    John: Jinsha is the name of the upper part of the Yangtse as it flows through Yunnan into Sichuan, as well as the archaeological site. So yes, you will have definitely seen the name around somewhere.

    leigh: Everything about China fascinates me. Lately I’ve been reading a lot about history, hence all the blogging about Chinese history.

    As for dragons, I don’t know why the Wikipedia search results page said ‘shu’ could be a Chinese word for dragon. It struck me as being so bizarre that I had to check the dictionary to make sure just in case there was some obscure character pronounced ‘shu’ that meant dragon, and of course I didn’t find one.