London: Archaeologists have found pottery fragments in China that are 20,000 years old, making them the world`s oldest known specimens, it was reported here.
Earlier theories have held that the invention of pottery happened during the period about 10,000 years ago when humans moved from being hunter-gatherers to farmers.
The new find has been carbon dated by a team of Chinese and American researchers and shows scorch marks that indicate it may have been used in cooking, Daily Mail reported Friday.
These pots push the invention of pottery back to the last ice age - and archaeologists are trying to understand how and why they were made.
The fragments were believed to belong to a community of roving hunter-gatherers some 20,000 years ago and apparent scorch marks indicate they may have been used in cooking, the mail said.
The research also pushes the emergence of pottery back to the last ice age, which might provide new explanations for the creation of pottery, said Gideon Shelach, chair of the Louis Frieberg Centre for East Asian Studies at The Hebrew University in Israel.