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Blob
2006-Oct-27, 05:55 PM
Neolithic graves in central China may hide the world's earliest writing, if the “signs” craved into 8,600-year-ld tortoise shells can be deciphered by academics.
The claim, made by a team of Chinese and American researchers in the March isue of Antiquity, a journal based at Cambridge University, Britain, has triggered heated debate among the world's archaeologists.

The debate centres on the origin of the writing.

The earliest writing on earth is commonly believed to have evolved in what is today's southern Iraq about 5,200 years ago. There, the settlers invented cuneiform, a way of arranging impressions stamped on clay by a wedge.
It is commonly recognised that writing didn't emerge in China until 2nd millennia BC, about 2,000 years after it appeared in Iraq.

Read more (http://www.discoveryof.com/eZine/NewsArticles/_2003/_06/20030612-001.pdf) (PDF)

Fazor
2006-Oct-27, 06:12 PM
Interesting.
A few notes: Isn't that article kinda old? Looks like it's from June of 2003 based on the address.

Also, forgive me if any of you happen to be chinese, but the Chinese gov't does not seem to be above manipulating "science" to help show thier superiority. *shrugs* even if the artifacts are indeed as old as they say, can it be proven that the etchings are also as old? And how tempting would it be for a student to fake or fudge some of his findings in a culture that would surely make him a national hero for proving that they were indeed the first to develope writing.

or the story could be 100% right. dunno :-p

Launch window
2006-Oct-28, 04:56 AM
I don't see why it would not be possible, as most ancient writings are close to pictograms or images

http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/AEncMed%5CTargets%5CIllus%5CIFG%5CT374128A.gif
http://www.etown.k12.pa.us/easthigh/Melancon/0506/chinese/imassfge.gif