Category: News@Zhoukoudian.

Lost treasures: Peking Man’s bones

WHS#449 | Zhoukoudian | Tourist Maps | Travel Guide | Photo & Video | News Update

A crate containing some the world’s most important hominin fossils vanished amid war in 1941 – along with secrets about the origins of language

These lost skulls belonged to Homo erectus pekinensis, known as Peking Man (Image: Bernard Hoffman/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

These lost skulls belonged to Homo erectus pekinensis, known as Peking Man (Image: Bernard Hoffman/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

In September 1941, Hu Chengzhi placed several skulls into two wooden crates. Around him, China was at war with Japan, so he was sending the skulls to the US for safekeeping. They never arrived. Hu was among the last people to see one of the most important palaeontological finds in history.

These lost skulls belonged to Homo erectus pekinensis, known as Peking Man. More than half a century later, evolutionary biologists would still love to get their hands on these fossils: not only would they help answer questions about early cannibalism among our ancestors, they could even shed light on the origins of spoken language.

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Category: News@Zhoukoudian
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admin says:

Peking Man’s skulls and bones missing is one of the historical mysteries still unresolved.