Israeli Team Dates 18,000-Year-Old Pottery in China

Israeli, Chinese, and American scientists have dated the pottery fragments excavated from a cave in Henan province to be 18,000 years old.  From the Jersualem Post:

Early last week, the team reported that they had reexcavated the site and, using the most well-preserved ceramic fragments, been able to date the bowl to about 18,000 years ago.

[...]Because pottery-making is not usually associated with hunter-gatherers, who foraged to eat and did not domesticate wild animals or plant food, the archeologists were surprised by their findings.

[...Professor of archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jersusalem Yosef Garfinkel] said Wednesday that the significance of the dating of this 18,000 year-old bowl lay in the question of when pottery started. It is generally accepted that Israeli pottery is 8,000 years old, Syrian pottery is 9,000 years old and Japanese pottery – which used to be considered the oldest – is 12,000 years old. But now, it appears that Chinese pottery is even older.

June 11, 2009 10:03 AM
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