4,000-year-old cave site with stone tools un­earthed on Ti­betan plateau

Global Times - Weekend - - NATION - Xin­hua-Global Times

A cave site con­tain­ing frag­ile stone tools and pot­tery shards be­lieved to be at least 4,000 years old was re­cently un­earthed in Ngari Pre­fec­ture, South­west China’s Ti­bet Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion.

The Me­long Tag­phug cave site, with two caves of 1,000 square me­ters and 250 square me­ters, is si­t­u­ated about 4,600 me­ters above sea level. It is the first pre­his­toric cave site found on the Qing­hai-Ti­bet Plateau.

Be­sides abun­dant cul­tural relics and an­i­mal bones, ochre rock paint­ings with geo­met­ric pat­terns, hu­man fig­urines, palms and the sun were also found, said He Wei, an ar­chae- ol­o­gist from Ti­bet’s in­sti­tute of cul­tural relics pro­tec­tion.

The ex­ca­va­tion, which will con­tinue in 2019, was car­ried out by a joint ar­chae­o­log­i­cal team from the re­gional cul­tural relics con­ser­va­tion in­sti­tute and the In­sti­tute of Ver­te­brate Pa­le­on­tol­ogy and Pa­le­oan­thro­pol­ogy un­der the Chi­nese Academy of Sci­ences.

The dis­cov­ery sheds light on hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties, en­vi­ron­ment change, ori­gins of agri­cul­ture and an­i­mal hus­bandry and pre­his­toric art on the plateau.

In Novem­ber, ar­chae­ol­o­gists found thou­sands of stone ar­ti­facts at a pa­le­olithic site in Ti­bet, in­di­cat­ing that hu­mans might have con­quered one of the high­est and most eco­log­i­cally-chal­leng­ing places on the globe at least 30,000 years ago.

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