Ancient stoneware processing site discovered in NE China

Xinhua, 23 September 2002

HARBIN, Sept. 23 (Xinhuanet)—Chinese archaeologists have discovered a site which is believed to be an ancient stoneware processing plant in Heilongjiang Province, northeast China.

The plant, located in Nehe City on the floodplain of the Nenjiang River, is said to date back 10,000 to 12,000 years to the late Palaeolithic Age.

Archaeologists have excavated more than 2,000 sq m of a relics protection area near the Ni'erji Reservoir, unearthing more than 3,000 kinds of stone tools. The stoneware include chisels, scrapers, choppers and pointed implements that were used by ancient people. Among the findings is a small well-polished agate chisel, which can be regarded as a masterwork of the Palaeolithic Age, said archaeologists.

Yu Huili, a research fellow with the Heilongjiang Provincial Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Research Institute, said judging from its location and the number of stone tools excavated, the site can be regarded as an ancient stoneware processing plant.

Yu said stones are easily found in the Nenjiang River floodplain.

The finding is said to prove that ancient people once lived in the Nenjiang River Valleys, providing precious materials for the studies of palaeoanthropology.