10 Recent Discoveries That Shed New Light On Ancient Civilizations

Numerous ancient civilizations around the world were advanced and highly civilized. Some are very popular and well-studied like the Egyptians while others remain obscure like the Garamantes. As scholars make new discoveries, our understanding of ancient civilizations will deepen—dispelling myths, correcting inaccurate information, and eliciting more respect and admiration.

10. Earthquake Caused The Disappearance Of The Sanxingdui Civilization


Sanxingdui is an ancient Chinese civilization and settlement that flourished in the Sichuan Province of China. For thousands of years, this advanced culture was lost. It was only rediscovered in 1929 when a peasant found jade and stone artifacts while repairing a sewage ditch.

The two prevailing theories about Sanxingdui’s mysterious disappearance are war and flood. However, Niannian Fan from Tsinghua University in Chengdu, China, found these theories to be “not very convincing.” In 2014, he published research that details how an earthquake caused the Sanxingdui civilization to disappear.

According to Fan’s study, a massive earthquake almost 3,000 years ago “caused catastrophic landslides [that] rerouted the flow of [Sanxingdui’s] river.” The inhabitants simply moved closer to the new river flow. This theory is supported by historical records of earthquakes that occurred near Sanxingdui. Fan believes that the inhabitants relocated to Jinsha after the river was rerouted.

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