“Peking Man” Cave To Be Reworked


May 04, 2009

The famous cave outside Beijing in the Dragon Teeth Hills, called Zhoukoudian and made famous by excavations in the 1920s, will be reopened for excavation this year, it was announced by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, an arm of the Chinese government.  The cave was worked sporadically in the Sixties, following the formal cessation of work in 1937 when the Japanese invaded China.

The cave has been in the news recently with the announcement in Nature of new dates being established via the aluminum-beryllium dating method.  See story in BecomingHuman, ““Peking Man Older Than First Thought”, below.

“Peking Man” was the nickname given a cranium and associated post crania first uncovered in 1927.  The specimen was later attributed to Homo erectus and thought to be about 350,000 years old.  The new A-B dating method produced an age twice that, perhaps as old as 800,000 years.  Homo erectus emerged as a species in Africa around 1.8 million years ago and bands of these people migrated out of Africa shortly thereafter, to the farthest reaches of Asia.  An example of Homo erectus was found in Indonesia in 1891 and dubbed “Java Man”.

See all the story from the Shanghai Daily.com.