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Archaeology > What is Archaeology? | Archaeological Work in Hong Kong | Middle Neolithic | Late Neolithic | Bronze Age | Recent Archaeological Discoveries | Hong Kong Archaeological Archive System | List of Sites of Archaeological Interest in Hong Kong

Late Neolithic period (c. 2500 – 1500 BC)

Human activities spread to almost every part of South China during the Late Neolithic period.

Sites discovered in Hong Kong include Yung Long in Tuen Mun, the headland at Sha Lo Wan on Lantau Island, Sham Wan on Lamma Island and Tung Wan Tsai on Ma Wan etc., indicating that people in this period expanded their activities to a larger geographical area, including hills and headlands, and were not restricted just to coastal sites.

The pottery found from this period features impressed geometric patterns that are typical of the South China region. The stone tools that have been discovered are mainly foraging tools and weapons, suggesting that the people of the Late Neolithic still relied on hunting and fishing to survive. Moreover, a considerable number of ornaments such as stone and slotted rings as well as ritual objects such as yue axes and ge halberds have been found, which implies that a more complex social structure had evolved. It is also thought that Neolithic settlers lived in stilt houses supported by wooden posts, as several series of postholes have been found at a number of different sites.

A Late Neolithic burial ground discovered at Tung Wan Tsai North on Ma Wan yielded the remains of several human skeletons, and studies by physical anthropologists have confirmed that the Neolithic people on Ma Wan were closely linked to the Neolithic settlers of the Pearl River region in Guangdong and that they were both of the Asian Mongoloid race.


Soft pottery pot with zigzag pattern
Late Neolithic period
Excavated from Yung Long, Tuen Mun
Height: 23cm Body diameter: 25cm

Soft pottery pot with concentric rings pattern
Late Neolithic period
Excavated from Yung Long, Tuen Mun
Height: 13.6cm Body diameter: 13.5cm

Soft pottery pot with ring-foot and leaf-vein design
Late Neolithic period
Excavated from Sha Lo Wan headland, Lantau Island
Height: 16cm Body diameter: 18.5 cm

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