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New Stone Age human skeleton discovered in Beijing
( 2003-10-29 11:10) (Xinhua)

Chinese archeologists have claimed discovery of a New Stone Age human body that lived about 10,000 years ago in Donghulin Village in Beijing's western outskirts.

The human skeleton discovered just over a week ago, dubbed Donghulin Man, was believed to be the missing link between Beijing 's Upper Cave Man living approximately 30,000 years ago and the ensuing modern humans in Beijing areas.

The body, about 1.65 meters long, is well-preserved except for breakage at the left eye socket. A jade object with the length of a little finger, was found between the nose and mouth as a probable decoration. Scientists did not disclose the gender and further study is still underway.

Archeologists also discovered an intact tomb bearing direct relationship with the stratum, the first of its kind since the Donghulin relics site was first discovered in 1966.

The tomb and the activity areas of the primitive humans are of vital importance to the research of Homo Sapiens, or modern humans in anatomical terms, and their culture such as production mode, dietary habits and social organization, said Prof. Zhao Chaohong, a noted anthropologist with prestigious Beijing University and also leader of the excavation team.

Beside the tomb, scientists also discovered several sites with traces of fire use and scattered with stone wares, and animal bones and teeth.

Experts started the excavation on Sept. 24 at the Donghulin site, some 80 kilometers away from Beijing, and happened to hit upon the skeleton on Oct. 19 on the eastern part of the excavation site.

In 1966, Hao Shougang, a then college student of Beijing University, chanced upon three skeletons dug out by Donghulin villagers in the Mentougou District of Beijing, the first sight of Donghulin Men, but they disappeared and their whereabouts became unknown afterwards.

In July 2001, the site yielded a batch of significant stone wares, pottery, bone wares and relics with marks of fire use.

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