China finds primitive writing
BEIJING - The Associated Press
This photo shows markings on an unearthed piece of a stone ax. AP photoArchaeologists say they have discovered a new form of primitive writing in markings on stoneware excavated from a relic site in eastern China dating about 5,000 years back. The inscriptions are about 1,400 years older than the oldest known written Chinese language and around the same age as the oldest writing in the world.
hinese language and culture. The oldest current known Chinese writing has been found on animal bones, known as oracle bones, dating to 3,600 years ago during the Shang dynasty.
One of the pieces has six word-like shapes strung together to resemble a short sentence. The pieces are among thousands of fragments of ceramic, stone, jade, wood, ivory and bone excavated from the Liangzhu relic site between 2003 and 2006, Xu said.
The six characters are arranged in a line, and three of them resemble the modern Chinese character for human beings. Each shape has two to five strokes. “If five to six of them are strung together like a sentence, they are no longer symbols but words,” said Cao Jinyan, a scholar on ancient writing at Hangzhou-based Zhejiang University.