The discovery of the site of Jiangkou Battlefield in Pengshan District, Meishan City, Sichuan Province, was one of China’s top 10 new archaeological discoveries in 2017. More than 42,000 cultural relics in a great variety were unearthed from the site, making it a major archaeological discovery in the new century in the historical research of Ming and Qing dynasties. The discovery boasts exceptional historical value, unraveling the mystery of “sunken silver ware” and showcasing the political, military and social life in the middle and late Ming Dynasty in a direct and all-round way. In the excavation of the site, archaeologists adopted innovative ideas, daringly explored and applied new technologies and approaches, and pioneered the archaeological method of inland water cofferdam. As a brand-new practice in the inland underwater archaeological excavation, it plays an exemplary role for the archeological work in mud flat and excavation of buried cultural relics in the shallow water. In the meanwhile, archaeologists actively carried out public archeological activities and recruited volunteers from around the country for the first time to participate in the whole process of archaeological excavation. They bridged the public and the archelogy to help the public better understand archaeology, get involved in archaeology and share the archaeological benefits. Moreover, it has blazed a trail to popularize archeological knowledge and has attracted widespread attention.

The exhibition showcases over 500 cultural relics, including a gold stamp with a tiger-shaped handle and the inscription that means “seal of the General of Long Prosperity”, the golden documents of the Daxi Regime, gold and silver coins used as rewards by Zhang Xianzhong (founder of Daxi Kingdom), silver ingots with the name of the kingdom and the year of production, gold and silver investitures of local seigniors of the Ming Dynasty, bulks of weapons, gold and silver currency, jewelry, and daily-use household utensils. This has been the first comprehensive display of the ancient Jiangku Battlefield site in Pengshan. Apart from a wide range of treasured cultural relics, the exhibition introduces diversified and high-tech display approaches by means of pictures, videos and immersive projection, giving prominence to the application of the latest archeological methods and original technologies in the archeological excavation. As a pioneering practice in encouraging public participation in the archeological excavation, it provides the public with much food for thought as to the protection of ancient sites and the future development of public archeology, while guiding the public to better understand and accurately grasp the humanistic spirit and rich connotations conveyed by the cultural relics.