Vertical view of Jingtoushan Neolithic site (a) and the locations where the two pieces of lacquerwarewere found (b, c, d)
Unearthed information picture of residual wood with pins
In the Yangtze River Delta, natural lacquer has been used as coating and adhesive since the Neolithic. At Jingtoushan Neolithic site, the earliest, deepest-buried prehistoric shell mound site discovered in China’s coastal areas, where stratigraphic age lies between 7800-8300 cal BP, we discovered the earliest lacquerwares of China. The relics are a piece of dowelled wood and an oblate wooden stick. The black coatings on the two relics were studied by using non-destructive infrared analysis, pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) and enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA), and the analysis determined that black coating on the two relics is natural lacquer. This discovery refreshes the history of natural lacquer used by humans in the Yangtze River Delta to more than 8000 years ago and also complements the history of organic coatings used during the Neolithic period in China.
Jingshan Site is located at the south foot of Jingtou Mountain in Yuyao City, 1.5km to the east of Tianluo Mountain. According to the carbon -14 dating results, the stratigraphic age of Jingtou Mountain Site is 7800~8300. It is the first shell mound discovered in the Yangtze River Delta, and it is also the earliest and deepest shell mound discovered in China at present. It has been rated as one of the top ten new archaeological discoveries in China in 2020. The cultural layer of Jingshan Site generally inclines from west to east along the slope of the underground hill, and the thickest part is more than 2m, which is divided into 12 layers (No.⑨-). Among them, two pieces of wood with artificial coating marks are found, namely, a piece of wood with pins (No.T509) and a oblate wooden stick with black skin (No.T510). Judging from the unearthed strata, its age can be traced back to 8000 years or even earlier.