Damaidi (大麥地) is a small village in China located in Zhongwei County in Ningxia, among the Weining Mountains on the north bend of the Yellow River. Over 8000 early Chinese petroglyphs dating back 7,000 to 8,000 years have been found here. These petroglyphs were shown, in 2007, to possibly be the earliest writing system in China.

Cliff Carvings

The carvings at Damaidi feature environmental as well as social themes, from sun and moon and other celestial bodies to people hunting, herding and fighting. Archaeologists believe that some of these symbols bear a resemblance to hieroglyphs. If true, this would push back the origins of Chinese writing (previously dated only as far back as jiaguwen inscriptions on Oracle Bones found at Anyang) from 1200 BC to 6600 BC - 6200 BC .


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