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16 January 2005
Neolithic stone tool workshop spotted in China

Archaeologists have discovered what is believed to be China's largest stone tool processing workshop of the Neolithic Age. The workshop, with an area of 1,200 sq metres, was spotted in some ruins dating back about 7,000 years ago in the Guangxi Zhuang region, said Lin Qiang, a deputy researcher fellow with the autonomous regional cultural heritage research team.
     Tens of thousands of stone tools and instruments such as stones in the shape of hammers and chopping blocks, whetstone and semi-finished stoneware were unearthed from the site of the workshop. Experts said that judging from the pile-up of the stoneware, the workshop site could have been used for approximately 100 years before it was abandoned.
     Apart from its large size, acknowledged Lin, the ancient workshop had also left behind doubts and suspicions: where had these stone tools had gone to and why did ancestors discard this workshop? He said what amazed archaeologists was that they excavated more than 20 tombs belonging to the Neolithic Age, the period from the Shang Dynasty (1600-1100 BCE) to the Warring States Period (475-221 BCE) and Han Dynasty (206-220 CE). It is rare for tombs of different historical periods to be found at the same site, archaeologists said, adding that the discovery would provide evidence for the study of ancient cultural progress in the area.

Sources: Indo-Asian News Service, NewKerala (11 January 2004)

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