The World’s Oldest Known Ceramics – China’s First Pottery
For the better part of the last two hundred years, historians believed that hunter-gatherer civilisations had a very basic tool-set that they made use of. These tools would often be made up of rudimentary knives, spears, and shivs, and would be used mostly for hunting, defence, and for cutting up meat.
But more discoveries in the last few years have shown that these same civilisations made use of tools that are much more advanced than previously thought – such as the usage of pottery and ceramics. In 2012, a series of ceramic fragments were discovered in China, and are believed to be part of an ancient Chinese kitchen, long before the dawn of modern history.
- The Oldest Ever Found
The pottery fragments were found in a south China cave, and were confirmed to be around 20000 years old, making them the oldest of their type ever to be discovered. The findings, which have since become part of a number of science journals, helped many historians to refute the belief that the invention of pottery dated back to around 10000 years ago as humans integrated into a more agriculturally-based society.
At 20000 years sold, these fragments provide proof that hunter-gatherer societies did, in fact, make use of pottery, and while it was not extremely widespread, many feel that it corroborates some theories that early civilisations were more advanced than once believed.
- The Research
The research and discovery of these fragments was lead by a team of American and Chinese scientists as they discovered that the first pottery humans created dates back as far as the last ice age. They believe that the ice age may actually have had an impact into why these cultures began creating pottery and ceramics in the first place.
Gideo Shelach, chair of the Louis Frieberg Center of East Asian Studies at The University of Israel shed some light on the pottery. He explains that it provides a better understanding of the living conditions of these early cultures and the kind of socio-economic changes they endured during this period of time. He added that it also shows the connection between pottery and agriculture right at the point in human history when we began growing our own crops.
- Our Early Survival
Many also believe that pottery was a key factor in our ancestors’ lives, and a significant reason as to how many of them were able to survive through such harsh conditions without the modern luxuries of heaters and houses and casino no deposit games.
With the ability to transport and store food, these cultures had found a way to have faster access to food, meaning that they wouldn’t need to leave their shelters on particularly cold or hot days in order to forage. Instead, they could make use of the food they had stored in their ceramic containers, a good way of conserving energy while also avoiding the potential hazards of being outside during a storm or when it was snowing.