Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian
Peking Man Museum or Peking Man Relics Museum is situated in the village of Zhoukoudian near Beijing. An important Paleolithic site, this site was first excavated in 1927, in a cave on Dragon Bone Hill at Zhoukoudian, southwest of Beijing. In 1929, skull fossils of Peking Man were discovered here, providing concrete evidence for the existence of primitive man in the Beijing area and marking a milestone in the history of paleo-anthropology. So far, a total of 6 skulls, 15 pieces of lower jawbones, 157 teeth and numerous other bone segments from the bodies of about 40 humans have been excavated, providing concrete data for the study of the evolution of pre-historic biology and the development of pre-historic culture. The study of geological strata indicates that Peking Man lived about 700, 000 to 200,000 years ago. The average brain volume of these people was 1,088 ml (the average for modern people is 1,400 ml). And it is estimated that their average height reached 156 cm for males and 150 cm for females.
Peking Man was among the first human beings to learn how to use fire, and could hunt large animals. Their average life expectancy was short; it is estimated that 68.2% of them died by the age of 14, and only 4.5% lived up to 50 years
The site of Peking Man is a large natural cave. Some 700,000 years ago, a species of homo sapiens lived here for about 300,000 years, leaving several layers of ash as evidence of the use of fire. In addition, a number of stone tools were excavated here.
In 1933, fossils of New Cave Man, who lived about 50,000 to 20,000 years ago, were discovered here. He was a descendant of Peking Man, but much more evolved. He resembled modern human beings in appearance, with fairly well developed intelligence and superior physique to Peking Man.
In 1987, the Zhoukoudian caves were listed as one of the world cultural heritage sites.