The much anticipated archaeological excavation of Sanxingdui Ruins in southwest China's Sichuan Province is underway and multiple gold leaves have been extracted from the No.5 sacrificial pit.
Many gold leaves were scattered on the bottom of the pit, and most of which are small and thin. The extraction work is very difficult, and needs to be done very carefully. Based on the distribution, experts speculate that those gold leaves may be related to textiles.
The gold leaves that have been successfully extracted will be measured one by one, numbered, put into the sample box and sent to the Sanxingdui Cultural Relics Restoration Center for further inspection.
The staff will scan them with hyperspectral imaging technology. The technique allows the archaeologists to see the initial state of the gold article, which will help to provide a comparison for the repair and protection of the gold article in the future.
In addition, some of the gold items excavated in the pit a few days ago have already completed the preliminary shape restoration work. The exquisite carving skills on the thin gold leaves of ancient Shu civilization will once again amaze us.
During today's excavation, archaeologists also examined soil samples from a mysterious wooden case unearthed in the No.6 sacrificial pit.
Tests for silk protein were conducted on soil samples from six different layers and the results were all negative. It is preliminarily proved that there are no silk fabrics in the wooden case. The soil samples are then sent for further testing to see if they contain substances such as fat or alcohol.
(Top image designer: Li Jingjie)