First farmers crafted ancient water wells without metal tools

One of the ancient wooden water wells in eastern Germany, built by farmers from hollowed-out tree trunks. Photo: SCMP

The people who lived in eastern Germany around 7,000 years ago are thought to have been some of the first farmers.

Monday, 31 December, 2012, 6:00am

Up to the tusk

Ivory enjoys enduring popularity among Chinese consumers. Durable, attractive and (perhaps most importantly) status-enhancing, ivory has been coveted among the affluent for centuries. Uses range from jewellery and other decorative objects to ear-picks and chopsticks.

17 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Seized tusks were legal hippo trade

Tusks seized by Macau authorities in bags bearing Hong Kong government seals were legally traded hippo tusks, not elephant ivory, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said yesterday.

A spokeswoman said the tusks had not been stolen, as had been feared, and its stocks were intact.

19 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

first person

Alan Tam Wai-lun, 41, was the lead artist on an ice sculpture that beat 16 entries to win the top prize at the Sapporo Ice and Snow Festival last month. He hopes to pass his skill of transforming blocks of ice into works of art on to Hong Kong's next generation.

1 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Ivory fans

I had a bad experience trying to restore an antique ivory fan bought in China. Would you recommend an expert who can save the piece for me, and explain the process?


7 Oct 2005 - 12:00am

SAR continues to play major role in illegal ivory trade, says watchdog

Hong Kong still plays a substantial role in the illegal ivory trade, a London-based environmental group claimed yesterday.

Under Hong Kong law, individuals who possess 5kg ivory or more must register with authorities. Ivory imports and exports are prohibited, including trade with the mainland. It is illegal to sell ivory goods to non-residents.

5 Apr 2000 - 12:00am

Containing the ivory trade

After a seven-year ban on trade in ivory, which has seen the gradual death of Hong Kong's ivory carving industry and the closure of one after another of its ivory merchants, member countries of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) are set to consider resuming the business.

8 Jun 1997 - 12:00am