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4,000-year-old cave site discovered on Tibetan plateau


A cave site containing delicate stone tools and pottery shards believed to be at least 4,000 years old was excavated in Ngari Prefecture, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.

4,000-year-old cave site discovered on Tibetan plateau
Members of an archaeology team working at the Melong Tagphug cave site in Ngari Prefecture,
southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region [Credit: Xinhua]


The Melong Tagphug cave site, composed of two caves of 1,000 square metres and 250 square metres respectively, is about 4,600 metres above sea level. It is the first prehistoric cave site confirmed on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

4,000-year-old cave site discovered on Tibetan plateau
The Melong Tagphug cave site in Ngari Prefecture, southwest China's
Tibet Autonomous Region [Credit: Xinhua]


Besides abundant cultural relics and animal bones, ochre rock paintings composed of geometric patterns, human figures and palms and the sun were also found, said He Wei, an archaeologist.

4,000-year-old cave site discovered on Tibetan plateau
Rock paintings in the Melong Tagphug cave site in Ngari Prefecture,
southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region [Credit: Xinhua]


The excavation was carried out by a joint archaeological team from the regional cultural relics conservation institute and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and will continue in 2019.

4,000-year-old cave site discovered on Tibetan plateau
Stone and bone tools unearthed in the Melong Tagphug cave site in Ngari Prefecture,
southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region [Credit: Xinhua]
The discovery sheds light on human activities, environment change, origins of agriculture and animal husbandry and prehistoric art on the plateau, archaeologists said.

Source: Xinhua [January 03, 2019]

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