Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Excavation team in Zhoukoudian, the legendary site boasts the discovery of Sinanthropus (also nicknamed "Peking Man") has unearthed remains of ashes, burned bones and carbon dust from inside the "Peking Man Cave", providing further proof for the Sinanthropus' using fire.

Chinese scientists put forward the theory that "Peking Man" had begun to "use fire" in 1930s, while oversea researchers doubted that the ashes found in the Peking Man site were remains of natural fire instead of man-made.

Remains of ashes, burned bones and carbon dust found from the excavation layer inside the "Peking Man Cave" provides more support for the theory of Chinese scientists, said Gao Xing, the team leader of the project and Vice Director of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), CAS.

On June 24, China formally starts a large-scale rescue excavation project in Zhoukoudian 50 kilometres southwest to Beijing's city center, 72 years after its last excavation efforts of comparable scale in 1937.

Anthropologists have unearthed nearly one thousand vertebrate fossils, most of which are small rodent, insectivores and birds. There are also broken teeth and limb bone fossils of large and medium size animals in the unearthed discoveries.

Besides, researchers also found 5 steinkerns, 37 flake tools, 5 hammerstones, 5 scrapers, 2 choppers, 6 broken stone tools with evident manmade character and 118 stoneworks that researchers reckon are artificial during the excavation.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences

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