This news story comes from China via The Stone Pages and sounds very exciting, especially for the ancient history enthusiasts who are interested with the development of the ancient scripts and the history of writing:
Archaeologists have discovered pottery bearing inscriptions dating back 4,500 years, which could prove to be China’s earliest example of written language. These pottery fragments, found in the ruins of an ancient city in Huaiyang County of Henan Province, are believed to be parts of a spinning wheel. A photo showed a piece of black pottery bearing white strokes. The fragment formed half of a round spinning wheel, with a diameter of 4.7 centimeters and a thickness of 1.1 centimeters.
The inscriptions are similar in shape to the Ba Gua writings, an octagonal diagram that is a fundamental philosophical concept of ancient China, according to Chinese archaeologist Li Xueqin of Tsinghua University. “The discovery of the inscriptions on the spinning wheel proves that Pingliangtai, where the ruins are located, could be one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization,” Li said.
If the news are proven to be true, then the new samples of Chinese writing outdates the earliest pieces we have at least by a thousand years. This dating places the discovered inscriptions to the reign of the legendary Xia Dynasty. Click here for the full story.