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8 December 2003
China's carving technology dates back to early Neolithic

China's carving technology could be several thousand years older than what many people think, as Chinese forefathers were already carving dainty images into porcelain and stoneware in the early Neolithic. Archeologists have made the assumption based on the stone and porcelain vessels they recently unearthed from a well-preserved residential site in Yixian county, north China's Hebei province, that is believed to date back 7,000 to 8,000 years.
     They unearthed a rectangular foundation of a crypt-like house at the site and some 200 pieces of porcelain and stoneware, including cooking utensils, bowls, jars and tools. "Most of the pieces bear human faces or other daintily carved images," said an expert with the Hebei Provincial Cultural Heritage Institute. Experts also assume from the unearthed pieces that ancient Chinese people still used stone vessels sometime after they had invented porcelain.
     The 20,000 square meter site is believed to date back to the early years of the Neolithic Age, earlier than Cishan and Peiligang, two other Neolithic sites unearthed earlier in Hebei and Henan provinces.

Source: People's Daily (4 December 2003)

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