The "Peking Man" was more sophisticated than previously thought


The "Peking man”Was discovered in 1923 in a cave near the village of Zhoukoudian, near Beijing. During 1941, at the height of World War II, the Peking Man fossils were lost, depriving scientists of valuable information. Recently, researchers have launched a new excavation of the cave in search of artifacts and answers to how Peking Man had lived.

On December 15, four scientists met at the Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), to share their latest findings. Three of them, Xing Gao, Zhang Yue and Zhang Shuangquan, are from the Chinese Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology. The fourth, Chen Shen, is a curator at the Toronto Museum and a special fellow at the Academy.

Between his archaeological finds, you will find a 300,000 year old area that contains what could be a fireplace, similar to a prehistoric living room. This could show that Peking Man was able to control fire, an important skill given the cold climate characteristic of northern China.

On the other hand, the analysis of the tools of the Peking Man showed interesting results: Chen Shen explained that the study of stone tools revealed that hominins probably used stone tips attached to sticks to create spears. It is a great step in human development, as it involves putting two materials together to form a composite tool.

Another question is how this discovery fits chronologically with other recent prehistoric finds. Last month, scientists working in South Africa reported to the journal Science that another hominin, the Homo Heidelbergensis, had made spears 500,000 years ago. This leaves researchers in the dark as to whether Peking Man, a different hominin, started making spears at the same time.

Perhaps the strangest research discovery is perforations. Shen explained that they didn't know hominids pierce objects or why, but they certainly used this technique with their stone tools. There is no evidence so far that Peking Man made ornaments or what we might consider art.

Finally, the analysis shows that the Peking man he had a special interest in clothes: “A certain amount of instruments were used for the work and scraping of the skins"Shen said in an interview.

Image: Mlogic on Wikimedia

Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in everything that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.