Artefacts found within a cave system in Nanshan, Fujian Province, East China, indicate that the site was occupied by the first Neolithic cave-dwelling agrarian society ever found in China.
Archaeologists have found a large amount of carbonized rice grains dating back between 5300-4300, to the Neolithic era. More than 10,000 grains were discovered at the No. 4 cave at the site. According to Zhao Zhijun, from Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the discovery challenges the conventional view that cave dwellers were solely hunter gathers and did not cultivate land for food.
The researchers have also found human remains and have determined that the individuals suffered dental cavities and other oral diseases that are common among humans in agrarian societies. Among other finds are arrowheads, pottery vessels, chipped crystals, over 10000 samples of carbonized rice grains earthenware spindle whorls and other small objects.
(after Xinhua & Li He)