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5,000-yr-old carvings may be oldest Chinese

By Hou Liqiang  (

13:41, July 10, 2013

The carvings found in ruins in Pinghu, Zhejiang province. [Photo/Xinhua]

Experts believe carved symbols found on stone implements and crockery in Zhejiang province date back more than 5,000 years, marking the oldest written Chinese language, Guangming Daily reported.

The carvings were found in ruins in Pinghu, Zhejiang province during 2003 to 2006. The archaeologists found more than 240 stone pieces with carved symbols in the archaeological excavations.

On Saturday, ancient writing experts from across China gathered to research the carvings, and they believed the symbols were Chinese.

The carved symbols are not isolated characters but form complete sentences, said Li Boqian, professor of the School of Archaeology and Museology at Peiking University.

Before the finding, the oldest writings in China were believed to be the Jiaguwen, or "oracle bone script", which date back 3,600 years.

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