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