Carved in a hard stone, this figure is modelled raising its arms to its chest, perhaps holding an offering or performing a symbolic gesture of humbleness. The image appears to be sculpted from the original shape of the stone, its elongated head rounded at the tip and its stout body flushed at the base. Incised lines extending from the forehead represent hair, while the facial features are delicately carved forming wide eyes and brow line, long nose and traces of a closed mouth. The transition from a nomadic, hunting existence to one of farming before the use of metals marks the beginning of the Neolithic period which began around 7000 B.C. in China. The peoples of different settlements can be identified and understood through such artifacts as pottery, tools, and architectural remains. This unique stone carving of a figure probably served part of the religious belief system that became incorporated into the practice of burying the dead and propitiating supernatural forces. During this period, human figurines bore curious, self confident expressions and appeared in anthropomorphized forms. Geometric patterns and fish designs also characterize Neolithic period artifacts.