Pots from hunter-gatherer site in China tell tale of lifestyle shift | Science News

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Pots from hunter-gatherer site in China tell tale of lifestyle shift

Find pre-dates agriculture, suggesting farmers weren’t the first to adopt more settled living habits

By
3:31pm, April 24, 2015
pottery

CERAMIC INNOVATORS  Newly discovered remains of pottery made by hunter-gatherers living on China’s central plain around 10,000 years ago include plain pieces (shown) and decorated pieces. 

East Asia’s first farmers didn’t transform ancient foraging cultures as much as researchers have traditionally thought. That’s because roving groups of foragers adopted sedentary living habits first.

New evidence suggests that hunter-gatherers living on China’s central plain made pottery and formed permanent settlements between 10,500 and 10,000 years ago, hundreds of years before a farming lifestyle with those features emerged there. Foragers at that time inhabited a resource-rich area that enabled them to settle down and make ceramics, propose Youping Wang of Peking University in Beijing and his colleagues in the April Antiquity. Agriculture soon followed, with the rise of millet farming in North China and rice farming in South China occurring within 500 to 1,000 years.

A previously unknown ceramic style found

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