Longgupo Pithecanthrope Site & Wushan Man
Longgupo Pithecanthrope Site
Northeast of Chongqing, in Longgupo, Miaoyu Town of Wushan County, there is the Longgupo Pithecanthrope Site (also called Wushan Longgupo Site). Covering about 837 square yards, the site was first discovered in 1984 by Professor Huang Wanbo. The discovery of the site is of great significance to the research of the primitive origins of humankind and fills a gap in the early human fossil record.
In 1985, the site was officially unearthed. As a result, a lower jaw and a tooth of ancient people were discovered. Dating of these fossils indicates that they are about two million years old. This means that they are the earliest human fossils yet discovered. Also, a great number of animal fossils including those of beavers, bears and tigers were excavated on the site. This shows that during that period, the Yangtze River didn't exist. Fore-tooth, jaw with canine teeth, and fossils of monkey, tiger and rhinoceroses were also found in 1986.
More excavations have been made in 2003 by a joint Sino-French scientific expedition. In addition to finding some animal fossils, stone wares were also found. The most significant discovery was a four square yard fossil layer. The layer, divided into three layers, is made up of different objects. The human and animal fossil, and the stone wares were discovered in the second layer. It is estimated that the earliest fossils in this layer are 1.8 million years old and the latest fossils in this layer has are two million years old. This indicates that people have lived in Longgupo, Wushan County for two million years.
The fossil of Wushan Man was first discovered in Longgupo, Zhenlongping Village, Miaoyu Town of Wushan County in 1985. The fossil of the left mandible with two molars and some bony plates were excavated that year.
In 1986, three fore-teeth and a jaw with two teeth were unearthed. This was found together with the animal fossils. After the research by the authoritative professors, the fossils were found to belong to a new species of Homo erectus. Later they were named Home erectus wushanensis. In common terms they are called Wushan Man.
According to research, Wushan Man lived about two million years ago. They are the earliest men found living in the territory of China. The teeth of Wushan man are stronger than those of modern people and the skull resembles modern man in many respects.
The discovery of the fossil is of great importance to the research of human origins and the development history of the Yangtze River Valley.