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Ngari discovery stated to be first prehistoric cave site confirmed on Tibetan Plateau

Melong Tagphug cave site, consisted of two caves measuring 1,000 square metres and 250 square metres respectively and was located at about 4,600 metres above sea level Ngari Prefecture in the westernmost part of Tibet. (Photo courtesy Xinhua)

(TibetanReview.net, Jan04’19) – A cave dwelling containing delicate stone tools and pottery shards believed to be at least 4,000 years old was unearthed in Ngari Prefecture in the westernmost part of Tibet, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 3.

The report said the site, named as the Melong Tagphug cave site, consisted of two caves measuring 1,000 square metres and 250 square metres respectively and was located at about 4,600 metres above sea level.

The report called it the first prehistoric cave site confirmed on the Tibetan Plateau.

Melong Tagphug cave site, consisted of two caves measuring 1,000 square metres and 250 square metres respectively and was located at about 4,600 metres above sea level Ngari Prefecture in the westernmost part of Tibet. (Photo courtesy Xinhua)

The report cited archaeologist He Wei as saying that apart from abundant cultural relics and animal bones, ochre rock paintings composed of geometric patterns, human figures and palms and the sun were also found.

The excavation was stated to have been carried out by a joint archaeological team from the Tibet autonomous regional cultural relics conservation institute and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and was to continue in 2019.

The report cited archaeologists as saying the discovery shed light on human activities, environment change, origins of agriculture and animal husbandry and prehistoric art on the plateau region.

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