Archaeologists find primitive writing on 5,000-year-old relics in eastern China excavation

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Archaeologists say they have discovered a new form of primitive writing in markings on stoneware excavated from a relic site in eastern China dating back 5,000 years. That's about 400 years earlier than the oldest known written Chinese language.

Chinese scholars are divided on whether the etchings amount to words or a precursor to words that should be described as symbols, but they say the finding will help shed light on the origins of Chinese language and culture.

The oldest current known Chinese writing was found on animal bones — known as oracle bones — dating to 3,600 years ago during the late Shang dynasty.