Beijing has challenged the notion that Europe is the birthplace of skiing, arguing that the sport actually originated in China over 10,000 years ago.
The country’s tourism board said ancient cave paintings depicting figures holding ski-like objects support the claim.
Northern Europe has been considered the birthplace of alpine sports ever since skis dating back to 2500 BC were found preserved in a Swedish peat bog.
Skiing is the latest in a string of sports that are said to have originated in China, including football, surfing and golf.
Beijing has challenged the notion that Europe is the birthplace of skiing, arguing that the sport actually originated in China over 10,000 years ago. The country’s tourism board said ancient rock art depicting figures holding ski-like objects (pictured above left) backs up the claim.
The drawings, found in Xinjiang province in 2005, also show animals, as well as figurines holding objects that look like skis, suggesting people used them for hunting.
WHAT IS CARBON DATING?
Carbon dating, also called radiocarbon dating or carbon-14 dating, is a method that is used to determine the age of an object.
Carbon-14 is an isotope of carbon commonly used by archaeologists and historians to determine the age of ancient bones and artifacts.
The decay rate of carbon-14 is constant and easy to measure, making it ideal for estimating the age of anything over 300 years old.
It can only be used on objects containing organic material that was once “alive” and therefore contained carbon.
Carbon-14 has a long half-life, 5370 years to be exact.
This long half-life can be used to determine the age of objects by measuring how much radioactivity is left in the sample.
Due to the long half-life, archaeologists have been able to date objects up to 50,000 years old.
The drawings, found in Xinjiang province in 2005, along with figures holding ski-like objects, also depict animals, suggesting that people used them for hunting.
They haven’t been carbon-dated yet, but China insists they prove Beijing deserves the Winter Games.
The government used the opening ceremony to promote Xinjiang, a region that is accused of committing crimes against humanity, including mass detentions, surveillance and torture of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
He called Xinjiang the birthplace and future of skiing, and the country’s state broadcaster said in a video broadcast during the ceremony, “You can see from the drawings that our Paleolithic ancestors made skis to travel and hunt in the snow.”
“It was the prototype of the earliest ski competition.”
Not only that, but the official tourism website of Altai, a prefecture located in northern Xinjiang, has been changed to advertise the area as the origin of skiing.
A number of countries, including the UK, US, Australia and Canada, organized a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics over human rights violations in Beijing.
The position means that these countries did not send high-ranking officials to China, but the athletes still compete.
In December, a London tribunal found that China had subjected Uyghur Muslims to genocide through forced sterilizations and abortions sanctioned by top Beijing officials.
China insists the draw proves Beijing is worthy of hosting the Winter Games. A local resident rides vintage fur skis at a ski resort in Altai, Xinjiang province, 2019.
The official tourism website for Altai, a prefecture located in northern Xinjiang, has been changed to advertise the area as the origin of skiing. In the photo, a man is skiing in Altai.
The Chinese government used the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics to promote Xinjiang (pictured), a region accused of committing crimes against humanity.
Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in Xinjiang have been imprisoned without any justification, said tribunal chairman Sir Geoffrey Nice QC.
The Commission to Investigate Alleged Violations of Human Rights, made up of nine lawyers and human rights experts, released its opinion after hearing allegations of torture, rape and inhuman treatment in two evidence-gathering meetings last year.
He stated that he was beyond reasonable doubt satisfied that thousands of Uyghurs were being tortured and supported the demands of imprisonment, forced displacement, enforced disappearances, rape and sexual abuse, persecution and inhuman acts.
The group added that Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials “bear the main responsibility.”
The drawings are yet to be carbon-dated, but China insists they prove Beijing deserves the Winter Games.
Beijing rejected the findings.
The country’s rulers denied the allegations, calling them “nothing but vicious lies concocted by anti-Chinese forces.”
Golf is among the sports claimed to have originated in China, and scholars speculate that it can be traced back to the Nantang Dynasty in the 10th century.
Last year, a study showed that the Chinese have been surfing since at least the 8th century, and in 2004 FIFA admitted that people from the Zhou Dynasty from 1046 to 771 B.C. played a game known as kickball.
WHAT ANCIENT TREASURES DISCOVERED BY THE MELTING ICE IN NORWAY AND WHAT DID THEY SHOW?
The discovery of Ötzi the Iceman in 1991 is perhaps the most famous find that captured the world’s attention, but according to a group of researchers writing on their Ice Secrets blog, reports of glacial ice artifacts date back to the early 20th century.
The first known find was an arrow recovered from the ice at Oppdal in Norway in 1914. More discoveries were made in the summer of the 1930s, including several finds at Oppland. Things then calmed down in the 1990s when arrows, atlatl darts, and paleozoological material were found in the Yukon.
But then in 2006 a huge melting season began in Norway, revealing even more stunning preserved artifacts.
Over 2,000 remarkably well-preserved hunting artifacts emerged from melting ice in Norway’s highest mountains, dating back to 4000 BC.
Incredible finds have been made by “glacial archaeologists” in Jotunheimen and the surrounding areas of Oppland, which include Norway’s highest mountains. These include:
- Iron Age arrow from Trollsteinhö.
- Arrow 800 AD
- A tunic dating from around 300 AD.
- Arrow 3900 BC
- 11th century stick with an inscription in runic alphabet
- Skis with surviving bindings from 700 AD
- Bronze Age shoes 1300 BC
Upon statistical analysis of the radiocarbon dates of these incredibly unusual finds, patterns began to emerge showing that they spread unevenly over time.
The researchers found a particularly large number of finds dating from the 8th to 10th centuries AD.
This likely reflected population growth, mobility (including mountain passes) and trade just before and during the Viking Age.
During the Late Antique Little Ice Age (AD 536 to 660), activity increased.
It was cooling time; the harvest failed and the population may have declined.
Mountain hunting (mainly reindeer) has increased to supplement crop failures during times of low temperatures.
When the plague arrived in the mid-14th century, trade and markets in the north also suffered.
With fewer markets and fewer reindeer, activity in the highlands has dropped significantly.