World’s oldest pots

Ice age people made cookware long before the rise of farming

By Erin Wayman, 12:18 PM July 6, 2012

While digging in a cave in China, scientists unearthed the most ancient pottery ever found — pieces of clay pots 19,000 to 20,000 years old. The cookware was used during an ice age, when giant sheets of ice covered much of Earth.

During this period, people had a hard time finding enough calories to survive. Fat, a rich source of energy, was relatively rare. So cooking would have been important, since heat releases more energy from meat and starchy plants like potatoes. That’s the conclusi...

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