Tag Archives: Prehistoric human

Dawn at silent hills

This is barely a road. That is why we call it the road least traveled. Trekking on East Asia’s prehistoric humans site, unremitting wind whispers an exclamation of silence at Zhou Kou Dian, 50 kilometers southwest of Beijing, China. Here are images during the trail to Peking Men Site.

Peking Man Site

Peking Men Site

For generations the locals named it Chicken Bone Hill or Dragon Bone Hill until Swedish archeologist Johann Gunnar Andersson discovered circa 1920s that the vast hilly terrains stored valuable evolutionary tracks dating back to Pleistocene era.

The archeological site bears fossils which belonged to prehistoric humans that once dwelled the cave system beneath the hills.

Peking Men cave
Homo erectus pekinensis cave-home

Here was once home to the 700,000 years old prehistoric society of Asia, homo erectus pekinensis, popularly called Peking Man. Thus the site is referred to as Peking Man Site.

But long before that, the way the locals had agreed to give the place such names suggested that their ancestors used the fossils as edible parts.

Historical literature accounted surrounding residents collected the fossil to be made soup.

In a culture that cultivates a veneration to dragon as a divinely creature, the locals consumed the fossils in a hope to gain strength and reach the state of divinity.

This caused a great loss to paleontologists all around the world, not to mention a sum of the remainings looted or destroyed during World War II.

Throughout the long period of excavation, multinational paleontologists had only managed to retrieve one complete set of bone fragments to construct a handful of skulls from the site. For all it is left with, UNESCO declares the area and the surrounding hills a world heritage site.

Statue at Peking Men Site
Peking Men Statue at Peking Men excavation site