Pottery Alters View of Human Development

Pottery Alters View of Human Development

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Pottery fragments found in a south China cave have been confirmed to be 20,000 years old, making them the oldest known pottery, archaeologists say. The findings add to recent efforts that have dated pottery piles in East Asia to more than 15,000 years ago, rebutting conventional theories that the invention of pottery correlates to the period about 10,000 years ago when humans moved from being hunter-gatherers to farmers.

The research also pushes the emergence of pottery back to the last ice age, which might provide new explanations for the creation of pottery, wrote Gideon Shelach, of The Hebrew University in Israel, in an article for Science, adding that such research efforts ”are fundamental for a better understanding of socio-economic change [25,000 to 19,000 years ago] … that led to the emergence of sedentary agricultural societies.” The disconnection between pottery and agriculture might shed light on human development in the region, he said.

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