Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

Map of Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site
Map of Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site
Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of downtown Beijing, was a natural habitat of human ancestors about 700,000 years ago. Here multiplied descendents, from age to age, created the splendid Paleolithic Age. To some extent, this is the cradle of Chinese civilization. In this charming and mystical land, Peking man left their footprints. Today, the remains and site provide a good opportunity for tourists to explore the primitive life of our human ancestors.

Zhoukoudian Site of Peking Man is situated on the Dragon Bone Hill. Since 1921, eight sites of ancient human remains have been discovered. 27 localities where high concentrations of fossils were found have been excavated. 118 kinds of animal fossils and over 100,000 stone wares have been unearthed. These fossils and remains serve as evidence of the existence of humanoid species 500,000 years ago in Zhoukoudian Cave.

Peking Man Site

Three representative remains include the Peking Man Site, the Upper Cave Man Site and the New Cave Man Site. In 1921, a cave was discovered at Zhoukoudian. Archaeologists confirmed it as the habitat of Peking Man. Today, it is called Locality One or Apeman Cave. In 1929, the discovery of a complete skull fossil by a Chinese Paleontologist, Pei Wenzhong, caused excitement around the world. The skull fossil could be traced back 500,000-700,000 years ago, proving the existence of Sinanthropus .This discovery serves as reliable and convincing evidence for the theory of evolution. Since then, Zhoukoudian has become known as the 'Home of Apeman'. Decades of scientific work and excavation revealed many skeletal fossils of the ancient Peking Man, stone and bone implements and ash residues.

Upper Cave Man Site

The Upper Cave Man Site was discovered in 1930 and was excavated in 1933. It is located above the Apeman Cave near the peak of the Dragon Bone Hill. The cave is about 13 feet (4 meters) high and 16 feet (5 meters) wide. Three complete skull fossils and many other fossils were discovered here. Around the skeletons red hematite powder was also discovered. Other finds include bone needles, animal teeth and the remains of necklaces that were used as ornaments. These remains prove the utilization of animal furs to make clothes and to dress themselves to keep warm. According to scientific research, the Upper Cave Man lived about 18,000 years ago with their physical character being quite similar to that of modern man.

New Cave Man Site

In 1973, the New Cave Man Site was found in Locality Four, 328 feet (100 meters) south to the Apeman Cave. The New Cave Man lived 100,000 years ago. The discovery of this site bridges the gap between Peking Man and Upper Cave Man, and the succession of Peking Man's evolution. One tooth, fossils of amniotes and other animal fossils were unearthed here.

Gezitang Hall

In September 2005, over 100 animal fossils were discovered in Gezitang Hall. Gezitang Hall is located at the entrance of Apeman Cave. Archeologists have confirmed that the fossils discovered are the remains of several species of ancient deer that lived in the Middle Pleistocene Period. Three teeth fossils, several antler and upper jawbones of ancient deer were found.

These cultural relics are very valuable in the study of the origin and evolution of human species. In 1987, the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. A park is built on the basis of Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site in recent years. Visitors can learn about the long history of human beings as they climb the mountain. The game house in the site park is a great place for children to experience hunting and collecting activities, providing them an opportunity to learn about our ancestors.

Zhoukoudian Site Museum

Standing on the hill you will see a grand modern building. That is Zhoukoudian Site Museum, about ten minutes’ walk from the site park. It was opened to the public in 2014. Upon entering, you will see a tall ‘Peking Man’ statue with prey on his shoulder and a stick in his right hand. Behind it is a long scroll painting that vividly shows the life of Peking Man. The museum exhibits over 1,600 pieces of relics across three floors. Those exhibitions mainly include fossils of the Peking Man and other animal bones, demonstrating the origin of creatures in prehistory and the transition from ape to human. Among those relics, the no. 3 skull model is especially eye-catching. It is the model of the first skull of Peking Man discovered in Zhoukoudian in 1929.

The museum also houses a 4D movie theater, where films about primitive life of our ancestors are shown. With an interactive zone, the museum is instructive and entertaining. Stand before an interactive device and wave your hands as it guides you, you will see a primitive counterpart. Besides, in front of every exhibition hall, there is a touch screen which gives detailed information about the relics.

How to Get to Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

1. Take bus 917or 836 from Tianqiao Bus Station to Zhoukoucun Lukou, then change to Fangshan Bus 38 to Yuanren Yizhi (Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian).
2. Take bus 616 at the south square of Beijing West Railway Station to Liangxiang Ximen, and then change to Fangshan Bus 38.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search
Admission Fee CNY30 for Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian; CNY 30 for the museum
Children under 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) can enjoy half price.
Opening Hours April 1 to October 31: 8:30 - 16:30 (ticket sale stops at 16:00)
November 1 to March 31: 9:00 - 16:00 (ticket sale stops at 15:30)

1. The museum is closed on Monday.
2. 4D film in the museum is only available at 10:00 and 15:00. The duration is about ten minutes.

 Other attractions in Fangshan District:
 Stone Flower Cave
 Yunju Temple
 Shidu Nature Park

  Futher Reading:
Top 10 Beijing Historical Sites You Should Not Miss

- Last updated on Apr. 13, 2023 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian
Asked by Anne W from UK | May. 13, 2018 07:19Reply
Is it possible to book tickets online for Peking Man site as a gift for who travelling to Beijing?
Answers (1)
Answered by Rose from FRANCE | May. 18, 2018 04:50

Yes, of course! But the online booking of the official website is not in service now, you may try it later. Or, you can call 010-69301278 for booking, but I don’t think they provide English service. You may turn to your Chinese friends for help!
Asked by Samuel from CHINA | Oct. 05, 2017 12:08Reply
Is the Peking Man site open? October 2017
Hi, I recently went to the peking man site but found out it was closed due to some works going on. I don't know if it is open again now.
Answers (1)
Answered by Reina from GERMANY | Oct. 10, 2017 04:54

As I know, it’s still available from 9:00 to 16:30 in Oct.
Asked by Daniel from NEW ZEALAND | May. 28, 2016 09:22Reply
Beijing to Zhoukoudian by train?
Is it possible to travel for the journey by train as the map shows a railway station at Zhoukoudian? If so, from which station does the train depart? How long is the journey? How much is the fare?
Answers (2)
Answered by Lisa from ICELAND | May. 28, 2016 22:10

No, there is no train service between these two points. I suggest you take the bus instead.

Take the bus No. 616 from the South Square of West Railway Station to Liangxiang Ximen, and then connect the bus No. 38 to Zhoukoudian site directly. The bus fare is about CNY9 in total, and the entire bus ride takes about 2 hours.
Answered by Samuel from CHINA | Oct. 05, 2017 12:06

I live in Liangxiang - that's Liangxiangnanguan subway station (Fangshan Line). If you come to Liangxiangnanguan subway station and take bus 38 directly to the Peking Man site it will take about 1 hour. It used to take longer but the bus route changed since the first time I went. Once you come out of the subway station you will have to walk around the block to a road called Nanguan Xilu to find the bus stop to catch the 38 bus.
Asked by sampath from SRI LANKA | Nov. 26, 2014 05:14Reply
How to go to the Tianqiao bus station in beijing by subway ?
Answers (1)
Answered by Bob from GERMANY | Nov. 26, 2014 19:42

Taoranting Station and Caishikou Station are two nearby metro station. The distance between the metro station and Tianqiao Bus Station is just about 1.1 miles.
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