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Xuchang Man Unearthed

27 January 2008

Chinese archaeologists unearthed, on 17 December 2007 at Lingjin (灵井) of Xuchang (许昌) in central China's Henan Provence (河南), sixteen pieces of fossil bones that can be assembled into an almost complete human skull belonging to, as it is claimed, a Homo sapiens living during the Paleolithic period about 80,000 to 100,000 years ago.

What makes this discovery quite amazing is that the researchers found a fossilized membrane still attached to the inner side of the skull bone, which would allow the scientists to track the nerves of the humans in the remote past.

But what makes this excavation truly extraordinary is that the period associated to that particular remote past is extremely critical. It was an era when in Africa the ancestors of the Europeans (as many of them firmly believe) and the Asians (as many of them stubbornly refuse to believe) and other people in between and beyond, decided to send their expedition armies to colonize the new continents occupied by other species of Homos. The result of this is that A Homo becomes the only Homo commanding today's planet (What an inspiring tradition! Or is it really?).

China has previously unearthed fossils of Wushan Man (巫山人) who lived 2 million years ago, Yuanmou Man (元谋人) 1.7 million years ago, Lantian Man (蓝田人) 1.15 million years ago, Peking Man (北京人) 200,000 years ago and Upper Cave Man (山顶洞人) 18,000 years ago, but no fossils, dating back to that crucial period with the first wave of overseas traveling and immigration and globlazation, ever found. Until now. It seems Chinese do have native ancestors as it is told through various legends, although it is still a long way off from convincing many tomb-digging experts.

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Beijing Men in Action

Some brave descendants of the Xuchang Man in Beijing decide to expand their horizon vertically and colonize the walls and tree trunks.

Archaeologists 80,000 or 100,000 years later may consider our time as another critical period in human evolution when a new species of Homo sapiens take tentative steps to return to trees, with a twist of course.


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