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This object looks like a wheel. But upon closer examination, it's clear this thin metal frame couldn't have supported much weight. Also, vehicles with wheels have never been discovered in this part of the world during this era.

So...what could it be?

Suzanne Cahill

One of the things that first springs to mind is that it could be a sun symbol, because wheels have been used as symbols of the sun all over the world, including India and Mesopotamia.

If we assume that this wheel-like object was not painted, and there's no traces of paint on it now, it would have been a very shiny, polished bronze. And it would have reflected the light and been quite a suitable representation of the sun.


Another reason we know this wasn't a functional wheel is from the way it was constructed. It was cast in five sections. Each included a spoke and a portion of the arc. They were later joined together to form the circle. The central hub was added last. This is another example of how local craftspeople soldered bronze after it has been cast, a technique largely restricted to the metal works at Sanxingdui and Jinsha.

« Sacrificial Bronze Vessel (Zun), List#21 China’s Lost Civilization: The Mystery of Sanxingdui (English) Songs Sun Disc With Bird, List#72 »


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