Charting the Waves and Currents in the Evolutionary

Genes have metaphorically been referred to as existing in pools within populations. But for populations that spread widely over continents, as did early Homo, perhaps an image of gene sea is more appropriate. The forces that cause the currents, waves, and eddies of change are of interest to us because they will explain the course of change and the anomalies in the fossil record that we encounter. But how can we chart them Deducing patterns of continuous populational change through recourse to...

The Coming of Sinanthropus

The Rockefeller Foundation for its part backed Black, and funding for the joint excavation at Longgushan went forward. But the Swedes were not quite out of the equation yet. The coalition asked Andersson and Wiman to help organize the excavation. The Rockefeller Foundation was particularly concerned that Black not be taken away from his duties at the medical school. By this time Otto Zdansky had published his paper on the initial results of the site and had no interest in coming back to China....

Why Were the Japanese Interested in Peking Man and Did They Find the Fossils

On December 8, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day, most staff and employees at Peking Union Medical College were paid their salaries and dismissed. The next day, the Japanese occupied and took over Peking Union Medical College, posting guards at the gates.36 Shortly thereafter, according to an interview with Wenzhong Pei,37 Dr. Kotondo Hasebe, an anthropologist at Tokyo Imperial University, accompanied by his assistant Mr. Fuyugi Takai, hurried to find the Peking Man fossils. Pei claimed that Hasebe had...

Dexterity Toolmaking and Language

Paleoanthropologists have for many years made the equation between and among the ability to make stone tools, lateralization of the brain, and the ability to use language. Homo erectus clearly made and used stone tools, and thus for many years the species has been considered capable of speech, albeit at perhaps some decreased level of function. Anthropologist Grover Krantz, for example, made the intriguing but ultimately untestable suggestion that Homo erectus youths may not have learned to...

The Scientific Fate of Homo erectus The Muddle in the Middle

By 1946 the world had realized that the famed Peking Man fossils had been lost during World War II. Their scientific memory was kept alive by the comprehensive publications of Weidenreich. But as masterful as these works were, Weidenreich's monographs and papers became much like a requiem to the lost fossils. Not only were the originals no longer available for study and comparison by other scientists but there was no hope of excavating again at Longgushan to obtain new fossils. While...

Paleopathological Evidence in Support of a Defensive Function for Homo erectus Skull Form

Franz Weidenreich was a trained medical doctor and had worked most of his career in medical institutions in Germany. It is likely that he had more than a passing familiarity with the effects of head trauma, although he did not publish on this subject early in his career. We believe that Weidenreich's identifications of healed depressed fractures on the skulls of Homo erectus should be taken much more seriously than they have been. Consequently, we undertook a systematic reexamination of...

Weidenreich Multiregionalism and the Dawning Realization of Homo erectus as a Zoological Species

At the same time that paleoanthropologists were sifting through their data and refining the interpretation of Dragon Bone Hill and its hominids, pressure was mounting for anthropology to conform to the tenets of modern biology. Genetics and population biology, integrated with Darwin's theory of natural selection, had made evolutionary biology a new synthetic discipline. Old names, genera like Sinanthropus and Pithecanthropus, were criticized as conferring too much distinctiveness on populations...

S

SS Harrison, 43 Saami, people, 119 sagittal crest, 58, 78 keel, 56-58, 79, 83 Sahara Desert, 143 Sangiran, Java , 61, 145-146, 155 Sarich, Vincent, 70, 152 scanning electron microscopy, 105 scavenging, Homo erectus, 99-100, 137, 138, 141, 173 schistosomiasis, 176 Schlosser, Max, 4, 60 153-154 Semaw, Sileshi, 129 sexual selection, 75 Shaguotun Cave, Manchuria, 15-16 Shapiro, Harry, 42-43, 51 shelters, 104, 119-120 Shen, G., 115 shovel-shaped incisors, 58, 66, 84 Siberian people, 119 Simpson,...

R

Race, biological, 66, 72, 149-150 radiator brain hypothesis, 88-89, 171 Reader, John, 10 recent African origin, theory of human evolution. See Out of Africa replacement theory, in human evolution, 148-149, 153, 155-156 See also Out of Africa rhinoceros, 98 Richards, Michael, 175 Rightmire, G. Philip, 165 ritual, in cannibalism, 135-136, 140-141 Rockefeller Foundation, 14, 18-19, 25, 27, 40, 53 See also China Medical Board rodents, 105 Rossignol-Strick, Martine, 166 Rowlett, Ralph, 104 Royal...

Bones and Genes Apples and Oranges or Peas and Carrots

Some say that bones and genes, when studied in our evolutionary biology, are like apples and oranges sort of the same but not really, so they should be considered separately and individually. Others believe that skeletal anatomy of fossils bones and data from biomolecular analyses genes go together like peas and carrots fundamentally compatible and therefore to be considered in the same context. In our opinion the most convincing theories of human origins are the ones that integrate the...

H

Head, weight of, in Homo erectus, 160 hematoma epidural, 80 subdural, 83 Heslop, D., 157-158 Hesperopithecus, 1 Himalayas, 143 Hipparion. See three-toed horses Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, 47 Hirschberg, Claire. See Taschdjian, Claire Hitler, Adolf, 27 Hoberg, Eric, 105 home range size, in Homo erectus 175 hominids, discovery of, 10, 17, 2021, 23-25, 30, 68-69 hominoids, 142 Homo erectus erectus, 121, 147, 149, 163-165 Homo erectus ergaster, 121, 144-145, 147, 149, 163-165, 169 Africa, 127-128,...

Color Illustrations Follow Page

Plate 1 top A reconstruction of Homo erectus from Longgushan by Ian Tattersall and Gary Sawyer. bottom Stone tools from Locality 1 fashioned by Homo erectus. Plate 2 View of the western wall of the excavation at Locality 1 from Pigeon Hall Cave. Plate 3 A reconstructed three-dimensional map of the Locality 1 excavation, showing the spatial extent and levels of all Homo erectus skulls. Plate 4 top The Pleistocene cave hyena, Pachycrocuta brevirostris, was the primary denizen of the cave at...

The American Missing Link Expedition Goes on a Wild Dragon Hunt into the Gobi

Paleontologist Walter Granger of the American Museum of Natural History had been in on Andersson and Zdansky's discovery of the Longgushan site in 1921. News of this discovery was added to Granger's report back to New York to museum director and paleontological czar, Henry Fairfield Osborn. Osborn, friend of Teddy Roosevelt and president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, sat in his large leather chair behind his massive desk in one of the four towers of the castellated...

C

California Institute of Technology, 71 Camp Holcomb, China, 43 canids, 106 Cann, Rebecca, 152 cannibalism, 124, 130-138 Canton, China, 64 carbon, in cave sediments, 100, 173 carbon-13,175 carbon-14 dating, 112, 114 Carib, people, 130-131 Carnegie Institution of Washington, 60 carnivore liver, in Homo erectus diet, casts, fossil, 25, 32, 37, 52, 133-135 cave bear, canine, embedded in Skull III endocast, 75 cave opening, 96 Celtis. See hackberry Cenozoic Research Laboratory, 18, 23, 28, 32, 38,...

Evidence of Fire

Fire can occur naturally, as when lightning strikes ignite dry grasslands still a frequent occurrence in sub-Saharan Africa , or it can be intentionally set and controlled by humans. Fire, more than any other cultural attribute, has been considered the hallmark of humanity. But Homo erectus seems to have had a relationship with fire that was unique they were partially in control of its power, unlike any other animal species, but still in awe of it, unlike modern humans. Dragon Bone Hill is one...

Africa The Leaky Crucible

If hominids first arose in Africa, as we believe, the circumstances surrounding their dispersal a couple of million years ago are important to ascertain. Africa had been the crucible of human origins but for some reason it began to leak around two million years ago. We have suggested that the leak first started when expanding dry country in the area of the proto-Sahara Desert began to push hominids before it, to the north and out of Africa.15 Until recently it was most reasonable to make sense...

Is There a Fourth Function Cooling the Enlarged Hominid Brain

If our hypothesis on the meaning of Homo erectus skull anatomy is correct, and Homo erectus as a species was ancestral to later Homo sapiens, why did thickened cranial bones evolve out of our biology If a thickened skull was adaptive for Homo erectus when these hominids got hit on the head, why did evolution discard it for us If modern children had thicker skulls, significantly smaller numbers of them would suffer serious head injuries when they crashed on their skateboards, bicycles, and...

The Times and Climes of Homo erectus

The bullnecked and bullet-headed species Homo erectus was physically primitive enough to be a compelling human ancestor. But once the anatomical descriptions of the hominid, authored by Davidson Black and then Franz Weidenreich, were largely completed, paleoanthropologists and the public in general, to whom Peking Man had become a household name wanted more details. Like the forthcoming sequel to a novel or the next installment of a serialized movie, the latest research findings from China were...

The Third Function Protection of the Brain Spinal Cord and Eyes

Bone Marrow Cranium

Most human anatomists and paleoanthropologists today would agree that the evolution of the brain and the chewing apparatus of hominids is of major importance in explaining the anatomical changes that we see documented in the hominid fossil record. The only problem is that neither of these explanations is sufficient to account for the unique attributes of the strange skull form of Homo erectus. We believe that a third function contributed to the evolution of the Homo erectus skull, and it is...

G

Gathering, food, 105 genes, 152, 164-166 Genetics and the Origin of Species Dobzhansky , 71 geography, and human populations, geological age, determination of, 108, 113-116, 162 Geological Society of China, 18, 38, 97 geological uplift, of Zhoukoudian area, 113 Germany, as seat of research, 27, 68 gestures, in communication, 138 Gezitang. See Pigeon Hall Cave Gibb, J. McGregor, 5 gibbons, 142 Giganthropus, 64 Gigantism theory, Weidenreich's, 6265, 70, 74 Gigantopithecus blacki, 64 giraffes,...

Climate Change and the Extinction of Homo erectus

The fossil evidence, we believe, is now sufficient to show that populations of hominids with species-level anatomical differences replaced Homo erectus in Asia. Replacement in mainland Asia happened earlier than in insular Southeast Asia and involved a replacement of Homo erectus by Homo heidelber-gensis. The evolutionary transition in Java was a replacement of Homo erectus by Homo sapiens, a difference brought about by the relatively isolated population that had evolved without gene flow from...

Anatomy of Peking Man Revealed

Sagittal Keel Torus Human Skull

Franz Weidenreich was a methodical and tidy man, a natty dresser who worked very hard and kept a keen eye on the budget of his laboratory and the excavations at Longgushan. His energy seems to have sprung from a deep-seated passion for his work rather than a dedicated professional work ethic alone. He plunged into the task of describing the new Sinanthropus fossils. Once, when he was presented with some newly discovered fossil hominid skull fragments from Longgushan by excavator Lanpo Jia, his...

Implications for Behavior

What do the various lines of evidence mean in terms of what Homo erectus actually did at Zhoukoudian Some archaeologists have suggested that the apparent sameness of the stone artifacts from the lowest levels of the cave site to those at the top show that Homo erectus was a very slow-witted species. Others have pointed out that the hand ax, a tear-shaped stone tool with a characteristic double-faced cutting edge, never made it to China, even though it was characteristic of much earlier Homo...

N

See Nanjing Napier, John, 144 Nariokotome. See Turkana Boy Narrinyeri. See Australian aboriginals National Socialist Party, Germany, 27, 29 Nationalist Party, China, 19, 37, 39, 52, 68 natural selection, 148 Nature journal , 62 Nazi Party. See National Socialist Party Neandertals fossil hominid , 125, 135, 141, 163, 166-169, 175 Nellie nickname of Longgushan Homo erectus , 140 Neoanthropinae, 66 New Guinea, cannibalism in, 132, 135 new physical anthropology, 73, 153...

Reexamining the Origins of Asian Homo erectus

Labeled Map Hominids Fossil Location

We have postulated that Homo erectus in China was descended from a recent immigrant from Africa. Evidence now suggests that the evolutionary transition from Homo habilis to Homo erectus happened along a very broad evolutionary front from Africa through Eurasia. More fossil evidence from well-dated sites earlier than Longgushan Locality 1 is needed to test this hypothesis. Our hypothesis is at variance with the view among some Chinese paleoanthropologists that Homo erectus evolved in situ in the...

Fate of the Fossils Science and Responsibility

More ink has been spilled over the loss of the Peking Man fossils than any other historical topic in paleoanthropology, except perhaps the identity of the hoaxer of Piltdown Man. Despite all the interest, the historical research, and the hypotheses, there is still not a single reliable account of a sighting of the fossils since they were packed by Hu and Ji in 1941. It is human nature to speculate on the fate of the fossils, but there are important lessons to be learned as well. Many believe...

Weird Skull and How It Got That

Homo erectus skull bone can be technically described as pachyostotic literally thick-boned . In understanding how pachyostosis evolved, we can look to comparative anatomy. A few other vertebrate species have or had thick bones, and attempting to understand their adaptations can give us some idea as to the reason for the massiveness of their bones. When comparing animal species that have evolved similar anatomy, we are not looking at traits inherited in common from ancestors, but instead traits...

Weather Report from Longgushan

Paleomagnetic History Earth

Teilhard's theory of sedimentation at Longgushan has stood the test of time, and it is still accepted in large part by the modern international team of geoscientists who have worked on the site.7 Teilhard noted changes in sediments and fauna related to geological uplift of the area and to a trend toward increasingly colder climate. But there were other changes in the sediments and in the fossils that could not be explained by altitudinal changes and the impending Ice Age alone. Smaller-scale...

The Second Function Smaller Chewing Muscles Teeth and Faces

The evolutionary transformation of the australopithecines to Homo was accomplished by evolutionary change and reduction in the massive teeth and chewing muscles that typified our earliest hominid ancestors. The australopithecines had large teeth, large chewing muscles to move them, and consequently, large bony faces, to serve for anchoring the teeth and attaching the muscles. By the time the australopithecines yielded the evo- The Homo erectus skull showing the areas of bony attachment of the...

The Excavated Evidence

Black Powder Use Early

The first methods used to extricate the fossils from Longgushan were dynamiting the sediments to blast the fossils loose, quarrying the debris by pickax, removing adhering sediment with hammers, chisels, and metal probes, and finally sieving the debris for small fossils that might have escaped detection. Pei and Zhang report that in the excavations between 1927 and 1928 stone artifacts and the materials of utilized fire were not researched.2 That the blasting was less than controlled is...

List of Illustrations

Page 2 top Map of Dragon Bone Hill Longgushan and Beijing. middle Map of Longgushan and the town of Zhoukoudian. bottom A plan view of Locality 1 with a history of the excavations. Page 5 Swedish geologist J. Gunnar Andersson, who confirmed the presence of fossil bones near Zhoukoudian in 1918. Page 11 The teeth of Peking Man found by Otto Zdansky at Longgushan between 1921 and 1923. Page 15 Davidson Black at his laboratory workbench with Sinanthropus skulls. Page 20 The cover page of Davidson...

The Kinship of Java Man and Peking Man Recognized

Davidson Black's ideas on Sinanthropus had begun to form as soon as he laid eyes on the first fossil hominid teeth from Longgushan. His initial conception of what the Longgushan hominid would look like was a Piltdownesque modern human skull and ape jaw. But he was not alone in this misconception. Sir Grafton Elliot Smith was Black's mentor, consistent correspondent, and most ardent supporter in England. Soon after the 1929 skull was found, Black invited Smith to China, and he came the following...

African Origins

Image Tabon Man

The first attempt to relate the fossil hominids of Asia to those of Africa was a study by Ralph von Koenigswald and Phillip Tobias,4 a former student of Raymond Dart at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Von Koenigswald, who after World War II became a professor at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, brought to the table his fossils from Java, then assigned to Homo erectus and Homo modjokertensis. For comparison Tobias brought from Olduvai Gorge fossils that he, Louis...

Credits for Illustrations

Black and White Photographs and Line Drawings Page v Courtesy of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Page 2 top, middle Modified after the original sketches made by George Barbour about 1929 from Andersson, 1943, figures 4 and 5 bottom Modified after figure 2 in Goldberg et al. 2001 , courtesy of Paul Goldberg. Digital images created and modified by Michael Zimmerman. Page 5 Courtesy of Zhoukoudian Museum, Institute of Vertebrate...

The Anatomy of Speech

Human speech is a remarkably complicated cooperation of our brain, mouth parts, tongue, voice box, and breathing apparatus. Most anatomists and paleoanthropologists studying human speech and its origins have focused on the brain. After all, it is the brain whose significant enlargement in humans presages the evolved ability to communicate with spoken language. The brain is large in Homo sapiens, who we know can speak, and relatively small in apes, who we know cannot speak although they are...

Peking Man Under Siege

Helmut Terra

Soon after the incident at Marco Polo Bridge and the cessation of excavation at Longgushan, in July 1937, Franz Weidenreich asked his technical assistant at Peking Union Medical School, Chengzhi Hu, to begin packing up all the hominid fossils. Hu enlisted a carpenter to make two crates for the fossils. He then carefully wrapped each fossil in layers of protective paper and cotton batting, made a packing list, and placed them into the crates. Once the crates were packed, Weidenreich had them...

The Dragon Reclaims Its

Japanese Bayoneting Prisoners

On July 7, 1937, at the Marco Polo Bridge on the road between Beijing and Zhoukoudian, the Imperial Japanese Army fired on Chinese civilians in an incident that exploded into the Sino-Japanese War. Excavation at Longgushan ceased two days later as the turmoil spread across northern China.1 Head excavator Lanpo Jia directed the workers to disperse and seek safe haven in Beijing or elsewhere. Most did, but 26 workers who lived in the town of Zhoukoudian stayed on at the site to keep an eye on the...

Ecological Relationships with Other Animals

The cave at Longgushan preserves evidence of the close association of homi-nids and a number of other animal species. Large mammalian carnivores, a number of mammalian herbivores, and many bird species are prominent members of this ecological community. Cut marks on ungulate bones are unambiguous indicators of hominids' ecological relationship with such deer-like species as Gray's sika Pseudaxis grayi and the giant elk Megalocerus pachyosteus . Tongue was clearly a commonly eaten body part. And...

Dr. Wong Write To Weidenreich

Hominid refers to a member of the zoological family Hominidae, which in our usage includes humans and their bipedal predecessors. Some authors use the term to refer to apes and humans together, but we prefer the established term hominoid for this taxonomic grouping. 2. Schlosser, M. 1903. Die fossilen S ugethiere Chinas. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften II, 150 22. 3. Osborn, H. F. 1924. American Men of the Dragon Bones. Natural History, 24 3 350-65. 4. Ingersoll, E....

Preface

The coauthors of this book met in 1973 while they were both graduate students in paleoanthropology at F. Clark Howell's laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley. Although much of the lab's focus was then on Africa and Howell's Omo Research Expedition to Ethiopia, China was beginning to open up to renewed international paleoanthropological research. Howell was a member of the paleoanthropology delegation from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences to the People's Republic of China...

Nailing Down the Dates

Everyone knew that Longgushan and its fossils were old. But how old Weidenreich thought that the Chinese Homo erectus were more evolved and more humanlike than Javan Homo erectus, and he speculated that they were more recent. Absolute dates could help resolve the time relationship between the hominids from China and those from Java. In addition, as more and more hominid fossils turned up in China in later years, the date of the cave near Zhoukoudian also became an issue. There were early Homo...

Pleistocene Land of Giants Robust Pithecanthropus Meganthropus and Gigantic Apes as Ancestors

Homo Erectus Molar

Without needing the permission of a cumbersome bureaucracy spanning two continents, as did Weidenreich, Ralph von Koenigswald simply took his Javan fossils, which included the Ngandong specimens, and buried them in his garden when calamity threatened. In 1941 he was captured by the invading Japanese army and spent most of the war interned or in a prison camp in Java. Only one of the fossils, Ngandong Skull XI, was confiscated by the Japanese. After the war it was discovered in the emperor's...

The Fortuity of Dragons Longgushan and Traditional Chinese Medicine

A mysterious affinity exists between the ancient dragons of Chinese myth and the fossilized remains of extinct animals. This association was discovered by accident. In 1899 the German naturalist K. A. Haberer traveled to China to explore the natural history of the western parts of the country, but was forced by the Boxer Rebellion to stay on the Chinese coast. In Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities he discovered that Chinese apothecary Top Dragon Bone Hill Longgushan is located 50 kilometers...

The Dragon Reclaims Its Own Where the Peking Man Fossils Went

The last anyone reliably laid eyes on the original Peking Man fossils was during the packing of the specimens by technicians Hu and Ji, reported by journalists Ming-sheng Li and Nan Yue in a large compendium of the status of the search for the missing fossils published in Chinese in 2000.23 Hu recounted in a letter to Lanpo Jia in 1977 how the fossils had been packed We wrapped every fossil in white tissue paper, cushioned it with cotton and gauze and then over-wrapped them with white sheet...

Anatomy and the Demise of Homo erectus

We have presented a hypothetical model that explains the mechanisms of the evolution and eventual extinction of Homo erectus. We believe the model is consistent with fossil and genetic evidence. But the evolutionary changes in anatomy, function, and overall adaptation from Homo erectus to Homo sapiens remain to be explained. Many of the changes that we know of have to do with the head. Theoretically, a species could have both a commodious skull to house an enlarged brain and a heavily armored...

The Evidence of Peking Mans Diet Brain and Hackberries Anyone

Ecology can tell us much about the behavior of Homo erectus, particularly its dietary behavior. Vegetable foods were undoubtedly important to this still semitropical species, but protein from meat was also demonstrated to be a major aspect of erectus s cuisine. Fire was therefore probably important. As we know from the archaeological data, some of the meat that Homo erectus scrounged in the cave and cut off of old kills of carnivores was less than fresh, and natural selection may have favored a...

Dispersal and Evolution of Homo erectus in Southeastern Asia

Areas Occupied Homo Erectus

Since early humans did not possess watercraft or the ability to cross large bodies of water, they had to rely on dry land or shallow water to move from one area to the next. A lowered global sea level caused by massive amounts of water being locked up in glaciers produced the corridors needed for human dispersal. Islands in southeastern Asia opened up to early Homo erectus as the shallow continental shelf extending from mainland Asia was exposed. Exposure of the so-called Sunda Shelf would have...

Speechless Cannibals and Speculations on the Mind of Homo erectus

From a variety of investigative approaches, we have concluded in this chapter that two of the most popular, time-honored, and long-held conceptions about early humans inability to speak and cannibalism were true of Homo erectus. Indeed, the lack of speech was part of the first name proposed for a primitive human, Pithecanthropus alalus meaning ape-man without language , coined by Ernst Haeckel in 1868.17 Eugene Dubois borrowed Haeckel's term to name his fossil skullcap and femur from the Javan...

Wenzhong Pei Discovers the First Hominid Skull

Davidson Black had dug himself a scientific hole as deep as the exacavations at the Zhoukoudian cave. To avoid its becoming a professional grave, he needed more fossils. A skull would be critical for the eventual acceptance of Sinanthropus pekinensis, simply because so much of the identity of a mammal species is evinced by its facial, cerebral, ocular, nasal, and dental anatomy. The first fragmentary skulls of Peking Man were finally discovered in 1928. After a winter of lab work, Birger Bohlin...

Homo Erectus Bibliography

Energetics and the evolution of the genus Homo. Annual Review of Anthropology 31 323 38. Aiello, L. C., and P. L. Wheeler. 1995. The expensive tissue hypothesis The brain and the digestive system in human and primate evolution. Current Anthropology 36 199-221. Aigner, J. 1987. Correlations 18O et Localit 1 de Chou-Kou-Tien. LAnthropologie 91 733-48. Ambrose, S. 2001. Paleolithic technology and human evolution. Science 291 1748-53. Andersson, J. G. 1925....

John D Rockefellers Chinese Medical School and Its Unruly Anatomist Davidson Black

Sinanthropus Skull

China in the early twentieth century was a country in economic and political chaos. The country's vastness and economic importance had prompted the imperial powers to take control of parts of the country, particularly the ports, after the Boxer Rebellion, but at the same time, Westerners and their institutions became involved in a variety of humanitarian causes in China. One large American foundation, the John D. Rockefeller Foundation, acted to fund the establishment of an English-language...

First Class Man to Carry on the Work at Zhoukoudian

Excavation Grid

The loss of Davidson Black, the charismatic leader of the Zhoukoudian research effort, could have spelled the end of the excavations. But such was the loyalty of those with whom he had worked and such was the productivity of the Zhoukoudian site that work was continued. The Rockefeller Foundation, for which hominid evolution has never been a major focus, continued to fund the excavations, probably out of loyalty to Black and his integration of the research with the medical school. And just as...

The Bones of Dragon Hill

In the 1920s, when the excavations started at Dragon Bone Hill, the understanding of human evolution was in a confused state. Eugene Dubois, the discoverer of Pithecanthropus from Java, was generally thought to have gone a bit insane in his advanced years. He had buried the fossils under his kitchen floor and had begun to think that he had discovered not the precursor of the human species but a giant gibbon-like primate instead. Henry Fairfield Osborn of the American Museum of Natural History...

Suspicions of Hominids at Longgushan and Their Discovery

Otto Zdansky

One of the foreign scientists remained, however. The stubborn young Austrian, Otto Zdansky, continued working at Longgushan for another four months, until the end of the summer of1921. He worked on the baking hot limestone cliff face with his field laborers extracting bones, cleaning off the adhering sediment, gluing broken pieces back together, putting plaster jackets on the larger pieces, and recording everything. When Zdansky finished his work at Zhoukoudian, the fossils he had collected...

New Evolutionary Model Clinal Replacement

Population geneticists have demonstrated that species evolve within groups of organisms called populations. Genes in populations do not just float around willy-nilly as they pass from parents to offspring. There are specific rules and regularities between such things as population size and natural selection that determine how the population will actually evolve. If a population shrinks down to a very few breeding individuals, for example, a lot of genetic diversity will be lost, and the...

The Types of Tools and the Raw Materials

Ancient Stone Tool For Cutting

Caves formed by percolating groundwater in limestone, referred to as karst from a Serbo-Croatian word describing such areas along the Dalmatian coast , are very poor sources for the sort of crystalline rocks that make good stone artifacts. The hominids at Longgushan thus had to bring raw materials for tools in from afar. Many seem to have come from the river gravels of the Ba'er or Zhoukou River. Others were apparently picked up by hominids walking farther afield. Wenzhong Pei, the veteran...

Cannibalism Is Now Back in Vogue But What Is the Evidence at Longgushan

Peking Man Evidence Fire

The practice of eating human flesh was known to the ancient Greeks as anthropophagy and it was reported by Herodotus. But we know the practice by the much more common name of cannibalism. Cannibals were first named by Christopher Columbus, who brought back several Carib Indians from the New World to Spain for exhibition at the royal court. Somehow the r in Carib became transmuted to the double n in Columbus's transcription of the term, even though the sea that was also named for the tribe was...