Sichuan is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the southwest of the country. The capital is Chengdu, a key economic centre of Western China.
Throughout its prehistory and early history, the region and its vicinity in the Yangtze River region was the cradle of unique local civilizations which can be dated back to at least the 15th century B.C.E and coinciding with the later years of the Shang Dynasty and Zhou Dynasty in north China. Sichuan was referred to in ancient Chinese sources as Ba-Shu by combining the names two independent states within the Sichuan Basin — the kingdoms of Ba and Shu. Ba included Chongqing and the land in eastern Sichuan along the Yangtze and some tributary streams, while Shu included today's Chengdu, its surrounding plain and adjacent territories in western Sichuan.