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Intl forum commemorates 100th anniversary of discovery of 'Ordos Tooth' | Updated: 2023-08-17 09:27
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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (left) and Émile Licent (right) [Photo/]

The three-day event facilitated field visits to the Salawusu Site Museum, archaeological sites, and protective sheds tailored to archaeological conservation. Discussions were also held on topics such as Salawusu, Paleolithic and environmental archaeology, Hetao culture, and archaeological site park construction.

In 1922-23, French scholars Émile Licent and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin discovered the Salawusu Site during their scientific exploration in northwestern China. They unearthed around 200 Paleolithic artifacts and a deciduous upper left lateral incisor of a 7- to 8-year-old child, which became known as "Ordos tooth". In the 1940s, Pei Wenzhong, a researcher from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, referred to the human tooth fossil as representative of an ancient human species "Ordos Man", or "Hetao Man".

Located in the Salawusu River Basin of Uxin Banner, the Salawusu Site is the earliest site of Paleolithic human activity with clear stratigraphic relationships discovered in China and even East Asia. It is where the first-known Paleolithic human remains in Asia were found in the 1920s. In 2001, the Site was made a national key cultural relics protection unit by the State Council. It was included in the list of National Archaeological Site Parks in 2013.

Since 2021, great breakthroughs have been made in the excavation work. Archaeologists have rediscovered the original excavation site of Émile Licent and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin after nearly a century, and unearthed abundant Paleolithic and animal fossils that provide valuable research materials.

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