Not far from modern Beijing there is a place called Lingjing, where a tiny figurine of a bird was found during archaeological work. After years of research in scientific institutions of four countries, it was possible to establish the age of the craft. It is 13, 2-13, 4 thousand years old, which takes us to the time of the Early Stone Age. Or more than 8, 000 years earlier than the New Stone Age, to which the oldest known Chinese artifact belongs - a jade figurine of a bird about 5, 000 years old.
It took a decade and a half of research to prove that this is really a piece of art by the ancestors of the Chinese nation, and it is actually much older than all the existing ones. In addition, disputes about the essence of the figurine were settled, initially many people took a figure measuring only 12 mm for a fragment. She was found in a pile of mud, far from the official excavation site - the villagers were digging a well and dumping the earth nearby. Just in case of archeology, they sifted it and found several shards - and a figurine.
It was possible to establish that the figurine was carved from bone from the limb of an animal, and the material was burned for greater rigidity and durability. The product depicts a perched sparrow, a well-known cultural symbol of the Neolithic in China. But the figurine has an interesting feature - for some unknown reason, the master did not work out the legs, but immediately placed the bird on a pedestal. This can already be interpreted as a reference to the culture of people living further west of China, which poses new questions for scientists.