From the Department of Way Cool, Taiwan Today reports:
Tsang Cheng-hwa, deputy director of Academia Sinica’s Institute of History and Philology, said materials unearthed in eastern Taiwan’s Changbin Township, Taitung County, are from the Paleolithic period.Baxian, which houses the remains of the Changpin culture, is the first and only Paleolithic site discovered in Taiwan.
Tsang and a team of researchers discovered the remains of wooden rubbing sticks used to make fire in two pits at the Baxian Cave site May 12. According to Tsang, the items were found in Kunlun Cave, 138 meters above sea level, and Chaozhen Cave, 120 meters above sea level.
Charcoal samples sent for carbon dating to the United States proved over 20,000 years old, with some pieces from Kunlun Cave shown to be 25,000 years old. “This find is extremely important for Taiwan’s archaeological community,” Tsang said.
The team’s yearlong study was commissioned by the Taitung County Government and its members included Professor Chen Wen-shan of National Taiwan University’s Department of Geosciences and Associate Research Fellow Li Kuang-ti of Academia Sinica’s Institute of History and Philology.
In addition to discovering that humans occupied the site as much as 25,000 years ago, the researchers uncovered seven new caves, giving Baxian a total of 24 different sites where humans once lived.
Baxian is a key Paleolithic site in Taiwan. Between 1968 and 1969, Professor Wen-hsun Sung of NTU’s Department of Anthropology uncovered the remains of a prehistoric culture at Qianyuan Cave. At the time, carbon dating could only indicate that samples were more than 15,000 years old. (FS-JSM)
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