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Sites of Xianrendong and Diaotonghuan

Sites in the period between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic Age

Location: Wannian County, Jiangxi Province

Period: 12,000- 9,000 BC

Excavated in 1962

Pottery jar: cooking vessel (up, remnant height is 18 cm); Pottery fragment with stripes: (bottom, 0.7 cm-1.2 cm thick)
Significance: The finds have provided important material objects for the study of the early Paleolithic cultures, as well as the origins of pottery and cultivated rice. 

 Introduction

The Xianrendong site on Xiaohe Mountain, Wannian County, is in a narrow long basin surrounded by high mountains. It is 3 meters above the river, its mouth facing south. In 1962 and 1964, 22 hearths and 3 trash pits in thick upper and lower cultural levels had simple Early Neolithic potsherds, bone and clamshell tools, etc. The Diaotonghuan Site, located in a cave 60 meters above the ground, is 800 meters away from Xianrendong.

In 1993 and 1995, Chinese-American archaeologists tested and sampled Xianrendong and Diaotonghuan. Upper and lower levels are of different time periods. Rough sandy potsherds in the upper level are rubbed, while perforated shell tools are bigger, with 1-2 holes. The lower level has snails and other aqueous fauna, but no potsherds, while stone tools are mostly small and thin with 1 hole. Diaotonghuan upper and lower levels' average thickness exceeded 2 meters, with many ground stone and bone tool, some perforated and many faunal remains. Its lower level has similar remains to Xianrendong.

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