China / Society

Ancient human bones found in historical site

By Qi Xin in Zhengzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2015-07-23 07:39

Archaeologists announced that they have discovered two human bones about 100,000 years old in Central China's Henan province.

The limb bones were unearthed in May at the Lingjing historical site in Xuchang, said Li Zhanyang, a researcher at the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, who led the excavation.

Li said the two fossils were discovered not far from each other. Both belong to a young person, maybe even the same person, Li said.

There are several bite marks on the fossils.

"We are not quite sure whether those were from predators or other humans," Li said.

So far, bone fossils from at least nine people have been discovered at the Lingjing historical site, including old and young, making it the largest site of discovered human fossils since the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Fossils from "Xuchang Man" were unearthed at the site, and two almost complete human skulls were dated back 100,000 years.

The Xuchang Man fossil consisted of 16 pieces of skull with protruding eyebrows and a small forehead. More astonishing than the completeness of the skull was that it still had a fossilized membrane on the inner side, so that scientists could track the nerves of the Paleolithic ancestor.

"Different from the ancient human skull fossils that were discovered eight years ago, the first discovery of limb bone fossils provides more opportunities to decode the process of human evolution," Li told China Daily.

In addition to the bone fossils, more than 1,000 fossilized animals and stone implements have been found at the site.

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