The Bronze Age culture which was first discovered in 1929 and then re-discovered in 1986 when archaeologists excavated remarkable artifacts, that radiocarbon dating dated as being from the 12th-11th centuries BCE. The culture that produced these artifacts is now known as the Sanxingdui Culture, and archeologists are identifying it with the ancient kingdom of Shu. The artifacts are displayed in the Sanxingdui Museum located near the city of Guanghan.
Many Chinese archaeologists have identified the Sanxingdui culture to be part of the ancient kingdom of Shu, linking the artifacts found at the site to its early legendary kings. References to a Shu kingdom that can be reliably dated to such an early period in Chinese historical records are scant (it is mentioned in Shiji and Shujing as an ally of the Zhou who defeated the Shang), but accounts of the legendary kings of Shu may be found in local annals.
The discovery at Sanxingdui, as well as other discoveries such as the Xingan tombs in Jiangxi, challenges the traditional narrative of Chinese civilization spreading from the central plain of the Yellow River, and Chinese archaeologists have begun to speak of "multiple centers of innovation jointly ancestral to Chinese civilization."