Nature, April 28, 2003 Helen R. Pilcher ‘Earliest handwriting found? Chinese relics hint at Neolithic rituals’, Nature (30 April 2003), doi:10.1038/news030428-7
Li, X., Harbottle, G., Zhang, J. & Wang, C. ‘The earliest writing? Sign use in the seventh millennium BC at Jiahu, Henan Province, China’. Antiquity, 77, 31 – 44, (2003). Via Wikimedia.
According to the BBC:
The archaeologists have identified 11 separate symbols inscribed on the tortoise shells.
The shells were found buried with human remains in 24 Neolithic graves unearthed at Jiahu in Henan province, western China.
The site has been radiocarbon dated to between 6,600 and 6,200 BC.
The research was carried out by Dr Garman Harbottle, of the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, US, and a team of archaeologists at the University of Science and Technology of China, in Anhui province.