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Lantian Man Sites in Shaanxi


Lantian Man was found in two locations -- Gongwangling and Chenjiawo at Lantian County in Shaanxi Province.

A lower jawbone fossil of an old female was discovered in the Chenjiawo site in 1963 by experts with the research institute of ancient vertebrate and ancient man of the Chinese Scientific Academy. The bone is believed to be 500,000 to 650,000 years old. A skull fossil of a mid-aged female was unearthed in the Gongwangling site in 1964. The skull, about 500,000 to 1,000,000 years old, is the oldest human fossil found in the northern part of Asia. Later fossils found in these two sites were named as Chinese Lantian Man, or Erectus, Lantian Asian Race

Lantian Man is classified as erectus of the early Paleolithic Age. Demonstrating distinct primitive features, the skull is low and flat with thick walls and a small brain volume of 780 ml while the frontal bone is slanted and the superciliary arches are strong. These characteristics indicate a rather primitive human form older than the Peking Man found in Zhoukoudian.

From the Pleistocene layer, over 200 stone artifacts were found. These objects often had multiple functions. Ash found around the site probably indicates the place where Lantian Man used fire.

A storage bureau was set up in Gongwangling in 1979, displaying human fossils and cultural relics to scholars and tourists who visit the place.

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