Xianren Cave – The site of the immortals in Jiangxi

 

An archaeological site and a location of historically discoveries of prehistoric pottery shards and it bears evidence of early rice cultivation. The cave’s name refers to the legendary Chinese enlightened people, the Xian, who had a long life or were immortal.

Xianren Cave is 7 meters high, 11 meters wide, and 14 meters deep. / Image source

The earliest pottery yet known anywhere in the world was found at this site dating by radiocarbon to between 20,000 and 19,000 years before present, at the end of the Last Glacial Period. Many of the pottery fragments had scorch marks, suggesting that the pottery was used for cooking.

The ancient fragments were discovered in the Xianrendong cave in south China’s Jiangxi province, which was excavated in the 1960s.

Xianrendong cave pottery fragment, radiocarbon dated to c. 20,000 BP / Image source

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