Monday, December 18, 2006

Protected Sites:Jinniushan Site

The Jinniushan Site is located on an isolated mountain eight kilometers south of Dashiqiao in Yingkou County, Liaoning Province.

Rising about 70 meters above the sea level, the site contains three deposits from the Fourth Age from west to east. During the four excavations carried out between 1974 and 1978, a large number of animal fossils were unearthed along with traces of fire pits, which included burnt bones, earth, charcoal scraps and some chipped stone implements.

In September 1984, some human fossils and fire-pit traces were discovered at the site. The more than 50 human fossils discovered include a nearly complete skull, vertebra, rib, ulna and carpale -- all belonging to a recently matured male. Stoneware unearthed at the Jinniushan Site was mainly made using hammering and smashing techniques. The wares, including scraping and sharp-pointed tools, have a processing technique and style resembling that of the Peking Man period.

An ash layer about 30 centimeters thick was also discovered at the site, containing two sites of round ash heaps on the surface. Inside the heaps was burnt clay and bones, including rabbits, mice and deer bones. Such animals were frequently hunted by primitive humans of that period. The Jinniushan Site is rich in animal fossils and human fossils and its geological age belongs to the mid-Pleistocene Period.

The fossils of primitive humans are not only in large supply, but they are also well preserved. Even the few existing damaged fossils can be restored to their former states, guaranteeing the veracity of the archaeological study. This was the first time that such complete human fossils were unearthed at a single site in China, as well as in the world.

The Jinniushan Man dates back about 280,000 years and is considered more advanced than the Peking Man (closer in intelligence to the Dali Man of the early Homo Sapiens). The findings have provided new evidence for the study of human physical development from primitive human to Homo Sapiens.

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