04-06-2007 09:21

Researchers now say that fossils discovered in the Tianyuan Cave at the Zhoukoudian site near Beijing may be the fossils of the earliest modern human beings. The new finding may shake traditional conclusions that the origin of modern human beings lies in Africa.

The fossils were discovered about 6 years ago. Scientists say the remains precede the Upper Cave Man, also discovered in Zhoukoudian, by about ten-thousand years.

Dong Cuiping, deputy chief of Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site Admin, said, "The fossils were discovered while people were searching for water sources in a cave."

Chinese scientists have made two archeological digs at the site, discovering some human jawbones, finger bones and fossils of mammals.

Using carbon isotope analysis, US and Chinese scientists have determined that the fossils can be traced back to 40-thousand years ago.

A scholar at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of China says the fossils are remains of the earliest modern human beings. He says the current perspective that modern human beings migrated from Africa is impossible.

The findings at Tianyuan Cave indicate that ongoing research into the origins of human beings in eastern Asia, is quite significant.


Editor:Liu Fang