China's earliest carving discovered in Henan

Reporters learned from Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology that a miniature bird carving that had been carved from a deer antler about 12,000 to 15,000 years ago. Other carvings and semi-finished artworks were also discovered in the 'Xuchangren' ruins in Lingjing Town, Henan Province, in March this year. The bird carving is the earliest one-piece solid carving that has been discovered in China. It embodies a more exquisite craftsmanship compared to other solid sculpture works unearthed in ruins of the late Paleolithic Period in Western countries.

The newly discovered bird carving is 2.1 centimeters long, 1.2 centimeters tall and 0.6 centimeters thick. It has been well preserved, presenting a gray-brown color, smooth surface and parts of it show clear carving marks. The carving had already been fossilized, with a strong hydroscopic property. It is made of evenly-broiled deer antler and was exquisitely carved with a microlith.

Gao Xing, Director of the China Paleoanthropology-Paleolith Committee and research fellow of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the miniature bird carving, which is small but exquisitely vivid in shape, shows the delicate sculpting technique, careful observation of nature, strong imitation ability and creativity of the people during that period.