Origin of Man: Fossilized Homo Erectus Skull Unearthed in China

It was always a debate about the origin of man. While faith always relies on the Bible, science always relies on facts, history and of course, archeological finds.

One of these first men, our ancestor, is the Homo Erectus.

Homo erectus (meaning "upright man", from the Latin ─ôrigere, "to put up, set upright") is an extinct species of hominid that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene geological epoch. It’s earliest fossil evidence dates to 1.8 million years ago and the most recent to 70,000 years ago. Its extinction is linked by some scientists to the Toba super-eruption catastrophe, but no sufficient case has been made to date for the idea. It is generally thought that H. erectus originated in Africa and spread from there, migrating throughout Eurasia as far as Georgia, India, Sri Lanka, China and Indonesia. But other scientists are claiming that the species rose first, or separately, in Asia.

Debate also continues about the classification, ancestry, and progeny of Homo erectus, especially vis-à-vis Homo ergaster, with two major positions:

1. H. erectus is the same species as H. ergaster, and thereby H. erectus is a direct ancestor of the later hominins including Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo sapiens; or

2. It is in fact an Asian species distinct from African H. ergaster

Just recently, 25th of November 2015, a group of scientists in eastern China's Anhui province recently unearthed a fossilized skull belonging to Homo erectus. The well preserved skull was found at the fossil-rich Hualongdong archaeological site.

Researchers have not yet had the chance to precisely date the skull, but believe it is between 150,000 and 412,000 years old.

When researchers first began digging at Hualongdong since 2006, the remains of a variety of ancient animal species have been discovered, alongside stone tools, as well as teeth, bones and skull fragments belonging to early hominids.

The newest find is one of the fullest and best preserved skull fossils yet found at the site.

It is quite uncommon to find such a great variety of fossils at a single site," Liu Wu, a scientist with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in a press release. "It bears great scientific value for the research of human evolution in China and East Asia."

Hualongdong is quickly becoming one of the most important hominid archaelogical sites in the country, on par with Zhoukoudian, in Beijing, where researchers first uncovered Peking Man, one of the earliest Homo erectus fossils found in China.

Origin of men was really as mysterious as it can be. These fossils will provide ample amount of information as to what our ancestors really looked like and these finds will reveal how they lived during those times.


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