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World's oldest pottery found in China

MAR . 01 2013

Peking University, Feb. 26, 2013: ARCHAEOLOGY magazine in the United States selected the world's top ten archaeological discoveries of 2012 in its 1st journal this year. Potteries, made more than 20,000 years ago and found in Wannian Xianrendong, Jiangxi province, China, was on the list.


This is the achievement by the cooperation of School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University and fellow institutions like Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, the cultural relics department of Wannian County, as well as archaeologists from Harvard University and Boston University.


On June 28, 2012, Professor Wu Xiaohong and Zhang Chi from School of Archaeology and Museology, Peking University published an article on SCIENCE magazine about the 20,000-year potteries found in Xianrendong, China. The article introduced the research findings, which attracted the attention of the academic world.


The invention of pottery did play an important role in the development of human civilization as well as human actions. Until recently, people had attributed the invention of pottery to the Neolithic Revolution almost 10,000 years ago. And this actually motivated the development of agriculture, animal domestication and polished stone tools. However, the finding of the earliest pottery of the world in Xianrendong, Jiangxi, overturned those theories. The results of this study investigated important information for the research on the behavior of modern people and the emergence and spread of certain elements of civilization mechanism.


The Top-10 findings on list this time included: Mayan sun god masks (Guatemala), the Neanderthal medicine cabinet (Spain), the earliest used poison (South Africa), the Aztecs funeral (Spain), Caesar's Gallic outpost (Germany), Europe's most ancient rock carvings (France), the oldest pottery (China), "Frankenstein" the mummy (Scotland), cellared treasures 2000 years ago (Israel) and the oldest burial ship (Egypt).



Written by: Guo Caichen

Edited by: Zhang Jiang

Source: PKU News (Chinese)