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Its former status as the seat of the Chengdu Prefecture prompted Marco Polo's spellings Sindafu, Sin-din-fu, &c.

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(A Chinese legend explains the town's nickname "Turtle City" by claiming Zhang planned the course of his city walls by following a turtle's tracks.) Although he had argued against the invasion, the settlement thrived and the additional resources from Sichuan helped enable the First Emperor of Qin to unify the Warring States which had succeeded the Zhou.

, jinguan) was established to oversee its quality and supply.

Its prehistoric settlers included the Sanxingdui culture.

Founded by the state of Shu prior to its incorporation into China, Chengdu is unique as a major Chinese settlement that has maintained its name (nearly) unchanged throughout the imperial, republican, and communist eras.

At the fall of the Song, a rebel leader set up a short-lived kingdom known as Great Shu ( and the depopulation of Sichuan necessitated the resettlement of millions of people from other provinces during the Qing dynasty.

Following the Columbian Exchange, the Chengdu Plain became one of China's principal sources of tobacco.

The Song conquered the city in 965 and used it for the introduction of the first widely used paper money in the world.

Su Shi praised it as "the southwestern metropolis".

After the fall of the Eastern Han, Liu Bei ruled Shu, the southwestern of the Three Kingdoms, from Chengdu.