The treasures of an undocumented legendary ancient empire hidden in the Sichuan Basin, comparable to the Terracotta Army, have been unearthed and restored to their former glory. Known as the State of Shu, it was already established on the Chengdu Plain over 4,000 years ago, before the Xia Dynasty came into existence in China. Chengdu became the centre of the kingdom, which was ruled by five dynasties before being conquered by the State of Qin.

Relics such as the paper-thin Golden Sun Bird, a mystical golden mask, over-the-top bronze masks, as well as the lofty and majestic bronze sacred tree, none of which have appeared in the Central Plain before, were crafted by the hands of the Shu people who lived more than 3,000 years ago. The artefacts not only give us a glimpse of their views on religion and the world, but also make us wonder how these people who dwelled in the Sichuan Basin conceived such notions to create the Shu culture, one which is distinct from Chinese civilisation.

The disappearance of the State of Shu did not bring the development of Chengdu to a halt. Using their wisdom, the Shu people built the Shu Roads which crossed mountains and connected the state with the Central Plain ĘC a feat "as difficult as climbing to the heavens" in the words of the great poet, Li Bai. These roads have facilitated the exchange between the two regions for over 2,000 years, enabling Shu Brocade to flourish. Despite the passing of time, many seasoned craftsmen remain devoted to the creation of these delicate silk fabrics to this very day.

The legacies left behind by the ancient Shu civilisation are treasures for future generations. How are the people of modern Chengdu continuing to learn about their heritage?
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