This paper uses the methodology of archaeological typology to interpret the archaeological materials of the Lingnan region from the neolithic to Warring States period. Through analysis of pottery production methods, styles, and forms, the author proposes new interpretations of the chronology of Lingnan in the neolithic; the demarcation between the neolithic and bronze ages, and the different stages of the bronze age. The articles identifies Lingnan as a distinctive cultural area, based on its protracted period of stone tool use, the long-lived traditions of the Pearl River region, its multi-form settlement patterns, and the existence of three sub-traditions. In the late neolithic, the Lingnan area demonstrated the following characteristics: distinctive culture in east and centre regions; less distinctive culture in the east; cultural dialogue between north and south, and differentiation between coast and inland regions. The emergence of Lingnan culture was a gradual, long-term historical process involving the diffusion of agriculture, cultural development, and diffusion of rituals and customs. The paper also uses the archaeological method of distinguishing cultural characteristics in order to identify ancient states that are known historically, and thus raises the research into the archaeological materials of Lingnan to the level of historical research.