32,000-Year-Old Fossilized Skulls of Modern Humans Discovered in Henan
Fossilized human skulls dating back to 32,000 years ago were discovered at the Xianrendong Site in Lushan county of Pingdingshan city, Central China's Henan province, which means that more than 30,000 years ago, there were already human beings in the Central Plains, according to the conference on the research progress of the "Archaeological China" major projects held by the National Cultural Heritage Administration in Beijing on September 27. Believed to be the earliest fossils of the early modern humans found in Henan, they are of great significance to study the origin and evolution of the modern humans in China.
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Located in Guanyinsi town of Lushan county, the Xianrendong Site is a cave site of the middle and late Palaeolithic Age (3,000,000 BC-10,000 BC) discovered on a steep cliff with an altitude of 576 meters, retaining precious primordial deposits, of which at least three layers were excavated with human remains. Fossilized human skulls and teeth unearthed in the upper strata are major discoveries.
The major discoveries at the Xianrendong Site. [Photo/Henan Daily App]
More than 40 caves have been found in Pingdingshan, 10 of which have traces of human activities. Compared with them, the Xianrendong cave could be termed a "mansion" at that time for its capacity of housing about 10 persons. The choice of living in caves embodies the wisdom of the ancient people, which can protect them not only from the rain and wind, but from wild animals. Besides, food and water sources can usually be found near the caves, Zhao Qingpo from Henan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, who heads the Paleolithic archaeology project in Pingdingshan city, said.
河南省文物考古研究院平顶山旧石器考古调查项目负责人赵清坡说，在平顶山地区发现40多处洞穴，其中10处洞穴有人类活动痕迹。与周边发现的40多个洞穴相比，仙人洞在当时算一个“豪宅”了，基本上能住10个人左右。早期人类在洞穴安身是古人类生存智慧的体现之一，不仅避雨挡风，还可防野兽攻击。而且洞穴附近必须有充足的食物来源和方便取用的水源。（中文来源/河南日报客户端 记者/陈茁 张体义 温小娟 翻译/赵汉青 海报/实习生王君艺 审校/丁岚）