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24 November 2010
Three Paleolithic sites found in China

Three Paleolithic sites have been discovered recently to the west of the Lingjing Xuchang Man Site in east-central China's Henan Province by the Lingjing Archaeological Team from the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.
     The three new sites are located in Lijing Village about 1.5 kilometers west of the Xuchang Man Site, and cover a total area of around 40,000 square meters, about three times that of the Xuchang Man Site. An archaeological team dug eight wells in the spring of 2010, and as villagers have also dug their own wells, the team finally found over 10 sites suitable for observing underground layers. According to their observations, they found a cultural layer four meters underground rich in animal fossils and stone tools.
     Team leader Li Zhanyang said that unlike those at the Xuchang Man Site, most animal fossils in the three new sites have burnt bones, with some bones having burn marks only at the two ends. Archaeologists believe they are bones left by ancient people after they ate meat, which led to a conclusion that people at that time mainly ate cooked food.
     Excavation and research in recent years have proved that the Xuchang Man Site was in fact a workplace where the Middle Paleolithic hominids produced stone and bone tools, while the three new sites, Li said, are more likely to be the residential areas because they are more consistent with the basic living conditions of people at that time.

Edited from People's Daily Online (19 November 2010)

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