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26 February 2006
6,000-year old earthenware pieces unearthed in China

Archaeological experts discovered a large number of earthenware pieces on a cliff by the side of Qishui River in Qixian county, Baoji of Shaanxi province.
The discovered pieces and the earthenware unearthed in Banpo of Xi'an belong to the cultural ruins of Yangshao Culture of the Neolithic Age. The archaeological discovery signifies that 3,000 years before the Zhou Dynasty (1121 to 249 BCE), there lived ancient people there, so the history of the Shaanxi Zhouyuan areas, the birthplace of the Zhou civilization, dates back at least to more than 6,000 years ago.
     According to archeologists, Zhouyuan, the birthplace of the Zhou Dynasty, is named as people lived there during the West Zhou Dynasty. As a result, the area is of unique position in history. There are two meanings for the Zhouyuan ruins. In a broad sense, the area starts from Wugong county in the east to Fengxiang county in the west and from Beishan in the north to Weihe in the south, which covers an area of hundreds of square kilometers. In a narrow sense, it is an area of more than 20 square kilometers bordering the two counties of Qishan and Fufeng. The area is known as a 'land of bronze ware' due to that a large number of bronze ware unearthed there.
     Archeologists found a lot of earthenware pieces on a cliff of Liulongzui Village at the foot of Mount Qishan on the eve of the past Spring Festival, with which, they patched up more than 30 clay pots. Judging from the firing methods, shapes and lines, experts believe that the earthenware belongs to the late Neolithic. Many of the patch-up potteries are red ones made of finely ground clay, apart from some black ones made of coarse clay. These potteries show high level of technology. According to experts, the painting tools at that time should be made of hair, might be the embryonic form of brush pens based on analysis of the painted lines on the basins.
     According to He Shiming, researcher with Qishan County Museum, local archaeologists have clung together the ancient earthenware pieces and shaped over 30 earthenware utensils such as pots and jars. With delicate patterns of rope, flower, pane and basket, the earthenware utensils were made of a variety of clay materials in red, black and buff.

Sources: China View, People's Daily Online (21 February 2006)

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