Million-year-old human skull discovered in China

(ORDO NEWS) — Chinese archaeologists have discovered a well-preserved skull in Hubei province.

It belonged to Homo erectus, who, according to preliminary estimates, lived about one million years ago. This is the third skull discovered at the Yunxian site.

It is now believed that the first erect humans (Homo erectus) or workers (H. ergaster) first left Africa about two million years ago.

Archaeologists found the main confirmation of this in Georgia, where at the end of the last century in Dmanisi they first unearthed stone tools, and then the remains of ancient hominids who lived about 1.85-1.77 million years ago.

In addition, quite recently, a human tooth of the same age was found nearby in the Orozmani area.

Younger remains of Homo erectus are also known in other regions of Eurasia.

For example, in 1989 and 1990, in the Chinese province of Hubei, during excavations at the Yunxian site, archaeologists discovered two skulls (Yunxian-1 and Yunxian-2) of ancient hominids.

These severely deformed skulls belonged to men whose brain volume reached 1000-1300 cubic centimeters. Together with them, numerous animal bones and tools fell into the hands of scientists.

The age of these finds remains rather controversial.

So, dating by the teeth of the fauna by the methods of uranium series and electron paramagnetic resonance gave an estimate of about 600 thousand years, the geomagnetic method – about 936 thousand years.

Even more ancient dating – about 1.15 million years – was obtained using the paleomagnetic method.

Archaeologists led by Lu Chengqiu from the Hubei Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology resumed excavations at the Yunxian site last year.

And it brought a new big find. So, they found another skull of an ancient man belonging to the species H. erectus. According to preliminary estimates, he lived about one million years ago.

Unlike the two previous finds, which were significantly damaged and deformed as a result of fossilization, this skull turned out to be practically intact (as far as one can judge about this).

The fossil is currently being cleared and is expected to be completed before November. Now, in particular, the frontal bone and the orbit are visible.

Lu Chengqiu said that archaeologists also found a large number of fossilized animal remains and stone tools near the skull.

Last year on N + 1 they talked about another ancient skull found in China.

Scientists have described it as a previously unknown species, dubbed Homo longi (“dragon man”).

However, many paleoanthropologists were skeptical about this decision, suggesting that the find could be the remains of a Denisovan.


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