The chronology of Early Pottery in South China

Author(s): Xiaohong Wu; Ofer Bar Yosef

Year: 2016


Human evolution is punctuated by inventions and innovations. One of the important inventions in the development of Chinese civilization was pottery. Cooking and steaming are two of the processes that change the nature of the food. The same are parching and grilling, or chopping meat and vegetables into very small pieces. The archaeology of South China uncovered the earliest pots in the records in East Asia. In this presentation the dating of pottery bearing layers in three cave sites from this vast region will be discussed. The dates from sites such as Yuchnayan and Xianrendong were already published. A new cave that produced similar results was publicized this year. All three sites produced fragments of early types of pots that are similar although the caves are separated by a distance of 400-500 km between them. The early dates range from 20/19 Ka cal BP and 18/17Ka cal BP. Stratified pottery fragments from the later layers and additional sites indicate that the use of this invention continued from hunting and gathering societies into the time when Neolithic farming was established.

Cite this Record

The chronology of Early Pottery in South China. Xiaohong Wu, Ofer Bar Yosef. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404646)

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Geographic Keywords
East/Southeast Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;