An animal-shaped pattern discovered within a clam shell closely resembles the "first Chinese dragon" unearthed in Puyang County, central China's Henan Province and the pattern without any artificial signs appears to have come into being naturally, a local resident said on Nov. 9 after he unexpectedly discovered it among many clam shells in a pit near an excavated ancient wall while out at the southwestern Xishuipo area of Puyang County. The resident, Mr. Huang, said the place where he found the clam shell is only several hundred meters away from the site where the "first Chinese dragon" was unearthed in 1987. As "the first Chinese dragon" was fully made from clam shells, he does not know whether there is any connection between the two discoveries.

Sun Dexuan, one of the personnel in charge of excavating the "first Chinese dragon," noted historical and cultural expert and deputy director of the Puyang Dragon Culture Research Association, said at 9 a.m. on Nov. 9 that the "first Chinese dragon" was unearthed at the site of the Yangshao Culture in the Xitupo area, Puyang County 23 years ago and is indeed made from clam shells. The dragon pattern depicts a flying dragon with a long tail, holding its head high, while bowing its body with its front paws clawing and back paws kicking. Domestic and foreign experts estimated by analyzing the clam shells that the dragon was made about 6,400 years ago, with an error of no more than 150 years.

Sun analyzed that the clam shell found by Mr. Huang belongs to Hyriopsis species and the totem pattern within the clam shell shows that it came into being later than the "first Chinese dragon." The dragon totem pattern within the clam shell is quite likely to have been made artificially, but the initial conclusion is open to professional analyses by archeological experts.

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