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20,000-year-old tools found by Taiwan team

RESEARCHERS in Taiwan have discovered what they believe is the island's oldest civilization, dating back about 20,000 years and belonging to a pygmy-like people that came from China's mainland, Southeast Asia or beyond, the team leader said yesterday.

Taiwan's Academia Sinica, which found more than 200 stone tools at the Ba Hsien Cave Site on the island's east coast, will return next year to seek clues about who was living there, leader Tsang Chen-hua said.

The civilization was probably a dark-skinned people similar to Negritos, a term that covers several ethnic groups of short stature in parts of Southeast Asia, Tsang said. Their exact origin and migration route remain a mystery.

"Where they're from is a good question. We propose saying they're Negritos, but we haven't found a human skull yet," Tsang said.




 

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