The Caoyangang Ruins in Xinghua city – located in Taizhou city in East China's Jiangsu province – have been confirmed as the earliest Neolithic Age site discovered to date in the Lixiahe area of central Jiangsu, dating back about 7,200 years.
According to the information released on Aug 22 at a press conference promoting a regional civilization exploration project, the ruins offer important material evidence for re-examining the environmental changes, sea surface shoreline changes, and corresponding human-land relationships in the Lixiahe area some seven millennia ago.
"The site is located under a (giant) fish pond, with nearly 1.5 to 2 meters of thick silt above it. The special negative-altitude wetland environment means the organic matter there is quite rich," said Gan Huiyuan, leader of the archaeological team at the Caoyangang site.
Key findings include a stone yue – an axe-shaped ceremonial artifact, and the largest of its type from the Neolithic period. "This is the earliest discovered stone yue in Jiangsu province," said Shi Yanyan, a member of the archaeological team at Nanjing Museum.
Among the other noteworthy findings is a drill wood igniter, on which the drilling holes and fire burn marks are still visible.
Some 1,200 square meters of the Caoyangang site, which spans over 80,000 sq m in total, has now been preliminarily excavated.
The unearthed drill wood igniter. [Photo/tznews.cn]