In antiquity, the area of modern Sichuan including the now separated Chongqing Municipality was known to the Chinese as , in reference to the ancient states of Ba and Shu that once occupied the Sichuan Basin.
Shu continues to be used to refer to the Sichuan region all through its history right up to the present day; a number of states formed in the area used the same name, for example the Shu of the Three Kingdoms period, and Former Shu and Later Shu of the Ten Kingdoms period.
In 221, during the partition following the fall of the Eastern Han - the era of the Three Kingdoms - Liu Bei founded the southwest kingdom of Shu Han (蜀汉; 221–263) in parts of Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan, with Chengdu as its capital.
Shu-Han claimed to be the successor to the Han Dynasty.
Sichuan, formerly romanized as Szechuan, is a province in southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. In antiquity, Sichuan was the home of the ancient states of Ba and Shu.
Their conquest by Qin strengthened it and paved the way for the First Emperor's unification of China under the Qin Dynasty.
Ba stretched into Sichuan from the Han Valley in Shaanxi and Hubei down the Jialing River as far as its confluence with the Yangtze at Chongqing.The existence of a highly developed civilization with an independent bronze industry in Sichuan eventually came to light with an archaeological discovery in 1986 at a small village named Sanxingdui in Guanghan, Sichuan.This site, believed to be an ancient city of Shu, was initially discovered by a local farmer in 1929 who found jade and stone artefacts.It suffered gravely during the Great Chinese Famine of 1959–61 but remained China's most populous province until Chongqing Municipality was again separated from it in 1997.The people of Sichuan speak a unique form of Mandarin, which took shape during the area's repopulation under the Ming.