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Oldest pottery found in China

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Carcharodon View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 14:27
Now archeologists have found the worlds oldest pottery in  Yuchanyan in the Hunan province in China. The pottery is between 17 500 and 18 300 years old:
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 14:47
Here we go again...placing aside cultural chauvinism [What Japanese pots older than the Chinese!] and the desire for "earliest", the use of clay for the shaping of objects has a far older history if one looks at the European paleolithic of some 35,000 years ago. Puting to one side the difficulty in actually dating cave "materials", the supposition that such remains are even "Chinese" does raise an eyebrow. Perhaps the art of the Altamira cave may be taken as the earliest example of Spanish painting?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 14:58
The pottery was found in what now is China. Of course the name of the place in those days were not China.
The researchers seem to have been rather meticolous in their dating of the site, taking into concideration the difficulties in dating materials deposited in caves. In this case they have developed methods to better handle such problems.
 
There are clay figurines and other clay objects that is older but what is special with pottery is that it mostly is mixed with some portion of non plastic material so it will not crack when you are firing it.
Pottery also often comes in useful shapes as bowls, pots and similar.
 
 


Edited by Carcharodon - 04 Aug 2009 at 15:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 19:50
Oh, boy, the presence of calcite as evidence of early porcelain! What next, a new "diffusion" theory? Keep in mind Carcharodon, the dating comes not from the pottery but from bone and charcoal materials deposited in the caves. There are still plenty of holes in the Holocene!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Aug 2009 at 21:24

Who talked about porcelaine? That is a later invention.

 

If one analyzes and dates the deposits in a cave carefully one can find out how the pottery is incorporated in the deposits. And by dating suitable materials in these deposits one get fix points of absolute ages that one can relate the pottery to.

 

And if one wants to investigate further one can also date the pottery itself. There are some methods for that, for example TL and OSTL dating. The new method of rehydroxylation can maybe also be an alternative method in the future if it turns out to be possible to use on such old material as in this case.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2009 at 04:32
Interesting article, but hard to tell if they are talking terra cotta or a more complex pottery. Much later, the Chinese certainly mastered porcelain, as the Koreans mastered celadon, but as the good drgonzaga hints, such claims can quickly become inflated by ultranationalists screaming: "our civilization is more ancient!" You don't have to go far to find such, i.e., China's "5000" year old history, Korea's identical claim, some Vietnamese claims that they might go back 4,000 years. Sadly, such loose interpretations can easily become the official position, as a visit to the Korean National Museum will show. When the Japanese invaded Korea during the Imjim Wars (1592-1599), they took several entire villages of Korean potters back to Japan with them. To the Japanese pottery tradition's credit, you can find some Japanese pottery websites which detail important developments in Japanese pottery credited to those Korean potters and their descendants.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2009 at 08:21
Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Interesting article, but hard to tell if they are talking terra cotta or a more complex pottery.
 
About the potterey:
 
Quote ...early pottery was found in Yuchanyan Cave. It is very thick walled, coarse, soft, and low-fired, and the pottery's clay has mixed into it many large inclusions of small pebbles. One cluster of sherds excavated in the 1990s was able to be refitted into the shape of the original vessel--a conical-shaped cauldron. The radiocarbon study of Yuchanyan demonstrates that the earliest pottery in the cave is from deposits that date 18,300 to 15,430 years ago (calibrated). These secure dates indicate that Yuchanyan's ceramic vessels may be the earliest yet found in the world.
(from: http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news-cms/news/?dept=1919&id=53648)

Originally posted by lirelou lirelou wrote:

Much later, the Chinese certainly mastered porcelain, as the Koreans mastered celadon, but as the good drgonzaga hints, such claims can quickly become inflated by ultranationalists screaming: "our civilization is more ancient!" You don't have to go far to find such, i.e., China's "5000" year old history, Korea's identical claim, some Vietnamese claims that they might go back 4,000 years. Sadly, such loose interpretations can easily become the official position, as a visit to the Korean National Museum will show. When the Japanese invaded Korea during the Imjim Wars (1592-1599), they took several entire villages of Korean potters back to Japan with them. To the Japanese pottery tradition's credit, you can find some Japanese pottery websites which detail important developments in Japanese pottery credited to those Korean potters and their descendants.
 
Yes, sometimes Archaeology are used for different nationalistic, racial and similar claims. We just have to think about the Piltdown man (in itself a hoax but belived for a long time partly due to the British beliefs in their own superiority) or the use of archaeology in the Third Reich to realize this.
 
Also one remembers the scandal with the archaeologist Shinichi Fujimura in Japan, who planted  artefacts on various sites so it would look as these artefacts were extremely old.
 
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