Relics of Ancient Shu – Shanghai Fengxian Exhibition
Shu (蜀) was an ancient state in what is now Sichuan Province. It was based on the Chengdu Plain, in the western Sichuan basin with some extension northeast to the upper Han River valley. To the east was the Ba tribal confederation. Further east down the Han and Yangtze rivers was the State of Chu. To the north over the Qinling Mountains was the State of Qin. To the west and south were tribal peoples of little military power.
This independent Shu state was conquered by the state of Qin in 316 BC. Recent archaeological discoveries at Sanxingdui and Jinsha thought to be sites of Shu culture indicate the presence of a unique civilization in this region before the Qin conquest.
In subsequent periods of Chinese history the Sichuan area continued to be referred to as Shu after this ancient state. Later states founded in the same region were also called Shu.