(ORDO NEWS) — At the end of the 20th century, during excavations near the Chinese village of Xuijiayao, the remains of ten ancient people were discovered: a fragment of the upper jaw, three teeth, 13 fragments of the parietal bones, two parts of the occipital bone, one fragment of the lower jaw and part of the left temporal bone.
Now, for the first time, paleoanthropologists have reconstructed the back of the skull of one of the discovered individuals.
The skull of an ancient person was larger than that of a modern one. Paleoanthropologists have reconstructed the Xuijiayao-6 skull, dated to about 200,000 to 160,000 years ago.
It turned out that the volume of the brain of this individual was approximately 1700 cubic centimeters – this is close to the maximum known values known for Neanderthals and people of modern anatomical type, according to N + 1. The results of the study are published in the Journal of Human Evolution.
Researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with colleagues from China, the United States and France, studied the Xujiayao-6 fossils.
Recent thermoluminescence dating has shown that this ancestor of modern humans lived about 200,000 to 160,000 years ago.
Paleoanthropologists have reconstructed the back of the skull for the first time using three separate fragments of the right parietal, left temporal, and occipital bones. According to the authors of the study, all three of these fragments belonged to one person.
The scientists conducted a CT scan of the fossils, after which they built a three-dimensional model of a part of the skull and made a cast of it.
Scientists noted that the skull of Xujiayao-6 turned out to be very wide and low, and also similar to another skull – Xuchang-1, whose age is about 105-125 thousand years. Paleoanthropologists have suggested that both individuals appear to have been large males.
However, for any ancient populations of that period, a volume of 1700-1800 cubic centimeters is quite unusual.
Scientists have concluded that the reconstructed skull suggests the existence of more than one species of ancient hominins in China about 300-100 thousand years ago.
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