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China s oldest bamboo article unearthed

Updated: 05 07 , 2013 19:39
Archaeologists said Sunday that a 7,400-year-old plaited bamboo mat they found in the Gaomiao cultural relic site in central-south China is the oldest bamboo article ever discovered in China.
The bamboo mat was found under a woman's skeleton unearthed on Friday. The mat, already carbonized, was interlaced with weft and warp yarn with orderly arranged holes. Each side of a hole is approximately 0.8 centimeters.
"The bamboo mat dates back more than 2,000 years older than bamboo mat, bamboo baskets and other articles excavated in the Liangzhu relic site, a Neolithic site excavated in eastern Zhejiang Province ," said He Gang, a noted research member with the Hunan provincial archaeological research institute.
"The mat was woven with very thin and refined bamboo strips. It seems in appearance to be not very different from modern bamboo wares," said the researcher.
"Stoneware and boneware unearthed in the Gaomiao relic site are sharp enough to cut bamboo into very thin strips," said He. "And putting a body on a bamboo mat may be a funeral custom of local people at that time."
Located at outlying Yanli village of Hongjiang city in the western part of Hunan province , the Gaomiao cultural relic site is a shell mound site of the Neolithic Age. Covering an area of 15,000 square meters, the thickest layer of the site is over five meters from the ground surface.
From February to March 2004, the Hunan provincial archaeological research institute made an extensive excavation of the Gaomiao cultural site. So far, a large amount of earthenware and religious and sacrificial articles were unearthed.
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