Archaeologists in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province have identified two items of lacquerware at the Jingtoushan ruins, the oldest ever found in China and one more than 8,000 years old.
The Jingtoushan ruins are located in Yuyao City, which is administered by Ningbo City.
The Jingtoushan ruins site has been identified as the earliest and deepest buried shell mound site in the coastal area of China, with a history of 7,800 to 8,300 years. The site is listed as one of the top ten archaeological discoveries in China in 2020.
Since the excavation of the site began in September 2019, a large number of exquisite artifacts have been unearthed. In the first half of 2020, two pieces of wood with a layer of the artificial coating were unearthed. Scientists later confirmed by non-destructive infrared spectroscopy, pyrolysis mass spectrometry, and enzyme-linked immunoassay that they were two lacquerware.
The carbon-14 test showed that the two items are about 8,200 years old.
According to Sun Guoping, the archaeological team leader at the site, the new discovery can extend the history of Chinese lacquerware to about 8,300 years ago.
“One of the lacquerware may be the remnants of a canoe or a part of the speaker of a musical instrument, while the other should be used for weaving. They are both practical and ceremonial, representing the pursuit of exquisite life by ancient human beings,” Sun added.