Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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New Thoughts on Peking Man

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sinathropus pekinensis.jpg replicaZHOUKOUDIAN, CHINA—A new excavation of a cave near the village where the fossilized remains of “Peking Man” were first discovered in 1923 has uncovered what may have been a hearth or fireplace. Reanalysis of the tools found in the first dig revealed that these Homo erectus hominids may have attached their stone points to sticks in order to make handles for their tools or even possibly spears. Use-wear analysis also suggests that stone tools were used to work wood, drill holes, and scrape hides “If they are depressing the hides, if they are softening hides, they can use the hides for their clothes,” said Chen Shen of Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. All of these developments indicate that “Peking Man” may have been more skilled than had been previously thought