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27 July 2004
World's oldest earrings found in China

Chinese archaeologists have discovered earrings they believe are the oldest found in the world. The jade earrings, which date to between 7500 and 8200 years ago, were unearthed at the Xinglongwa culture site in Chifeng city in Inner Mongolia. The jade rings have diameters that measure 2.5 to six centimetres.
     Liu Guoxiang, head of an archaeological team under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it was "magnificent" that the earrings were found in pairs that were almost similar in size and weight. The most exquisite pair were identical in weight and in their inner and outer diameters, he said. "It is almost unimaginable that without modern tools, people in ancient times managed to achieve such a feat," Liu was quoted as saying.
     Because the earrings unearthed have reasonably large diameters, experts speculate the wearers at the time would have pierced bigger holes in their earlobes and must have already known how to treat inflammation, said jade culture expert Tang Chung at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. People in some parts of South-East Asia still wear jade earrings of a similar design, he said. He said jade ornaments emerged on Inner Mongolia about 8000 years ago and in the Yangtze River valley 6000 to 7000 years ago.

Source: TheSunLink.com (26 July 2004)

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