China's earliest bricks dating back 5,000 years unearthed
Chinaculture.org Updated: 2014-10-31
This brick discovered in Lantian county, Shaanxi province, is believed to have been made 5,000 years ago. [Photo/hsw.cn]
Five damaged bricks that were confirmed as China's earliest bricks - dating back 5,000 years - were discovered in Lantian county, Shaanxi province, and advance China's brick history by 2,000 years.
Archaeologists conducted an excavation at the Xinjie site in Lantian county between 2009 and 2010. Unexpectedly, they found five pieces of bricks from the Yangshao culture, a Neolithic culture that existed extensively along the Yellow River in China from around 5000 BC to 3000 BC.
After expert tests, the bricks were confirmed to be produced between 3500 B.C. and 3000 B.C., more than 5,000 years ago.
The bricks are believed to have been baked under temperature between 850 C and 900 C. Experts estimate the bricks were made in wooden molds since the edges were not cut.
Previously, China's earliest bricks discovered in Shaanxi province date back 3,000 years.
The earliest bricks in the world were found in West Asia and date back 8,000 years. They were not baked but made from mud and air dried. Therefore, these China's bricks are probably the earliest baked bricks in the world.