Abstract:Three bronze kneeling statues with twisted heads have been unearthed from the No.4 sacrificial pit at the Sanxingdui Site, which are identical in size and shape, and presumably belong to the same bronze ware. The statue numbered K4yw:244 is in a kneeling position, leaning slightly to the left front, with stubbed hair and his head slightly lowered and twisted to the right side of his body. His hands are half folded and stretch horizontally to left front. The statue sits on heels with knees and forefoot on the ground. The three-piece clothes of the statue are presented in relief, including coat, skirt and a third piece of clothing, the hem of which is exposed above the skirt. The waistband is tied at the front. The statue's center of gravity is located at the slot between his left shoulder and palms, exhibiting a strong sense of weight-bearing. The statue is in a good state of preservation, it can be observed that the limbs and the body were made by an integrated casting method with a lifelike form and rich details, showing a high level of bronze casting technology. The decorative patterns on the statue are rich in diversity, such as interlaced V-shape patterns, crest patterns and swallowtail patterns which are all discovered for the first time, while the feather patterns are also distinctive. Both crest patterns and feather patterns symbolize birds, showing the prominent position of birds in the Sanxingdui culture, which is presumably related to the social and cultural beliefs at that time. Swallowtail patterns are commonly seen on bronze wares of the same period in the middle and downstream areas of the Yangtze River, therefore are of great significance to the study of cultural exchanges between the Sanxingdui Culture and other regions. The statues are roughly dated to the late Shang Dynasty, identiﬁed as men of low status instead of priests.
Keywords: Sanxingdui site, Sacrificial area, No.4 sacrificial pit, Bronze kneeling statue with twisted head
The Chinese version appeared in Sichuan Cultural Relics, 2021(04).