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8 November 2003
Neolithic sites found in Tibet

Archeologists have discovered several sites used by Neolithic nomadic people in Tibet at some 5,000 metres above the sea level. The 13 prehistoric sites, located on the Tanggula Range on the Qinghai -Tibet Plateau,  were discovered during the exploration of the Tibetan section of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, which is under construction.  
     Distributed on the Tanggula Range, the sites were all at an altitude of between 4,700 and 4,900 meters above sea level, said Gengdui, a research fellow with the Tibet Museum. "From those sites we can draw the conclusion that ancient people living on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau could move about in an area above 5,000 meters. Most of the sites are shelters from the wind, close to water and convenient for communications, thus providing suitable living conditions," he said.
     The findings include more than 1,000 stone items, pottery pieces and stone balls with drilled holes, said Gengdui. Some fossilized charcoal and animal bones were also excavated, but no traces of houses were found, adding more evidence to the conclusion that some of the sites were temporary living areas frequently used by nomadic tribes, added Gengdui.  
     Experts say the site, dating back 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, has distinct features of plateau pasturing culture, compared with other Neolithic sites in Tibet. A total of 16 Neolithic sites have been found in Tibet.

Sources: China Daily (30 October 2003), People's Daily (4 November 2003)

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