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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Peking man), a representative of the oldest fossil humans, the skeletal remains of which were discovered in China in the 1920’s in Chouk’outien Cave, near the Chouk’outien railroad station, approximately 45 km southwest of Peking.

Excavations conducted before 1937 unearthed fragments of skulls and lower jaws, limb bones, and teeth from more than 60 individuals of different sexes and ages; primitive stone implements were also found. Anthropologically, Sinanthropus was similar to Pithecanthropus but had a larger skull (averaging 1,040 cc) and a higher forehead and braincase. The piles of ashes and coals and burnt animal bones (including those of Megaloceros giganteus) are evidence that these people knew how to use fire.

Sinanthropus lived at the end of the Mindel glacial stage or the beginning of the Mindel-Riss interglacial stage. The age of Sinanthropus is estimated at approximately 400,000 years. A lower jaw discovered in 1963 in Langt’ien District (Shensi Province) is believed by some scientists to belong to an even older species of Sinanthropus, which they call Langt’ien man.


Ivanova, I. K. Geologicheskii vozrast iskopaemogo cheloveka. Moscow, 1965.
Uryson, M. I. “Pitekantropy, sinantropy i blizkie im formy gominid.” In the collection Iskopaemye gominidy i proiskhozhdenie cheloveka. Moscow, 1966. (Tr. In-ta etnografii: Novaia seriia, vol. 92.)

V. P. IAKIMOV [23–1213–]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
From this tooth alone, he deduced the existence of a small-brained hominid, which he called Sinanthropus pekinensis (Greek for "Chinese human of Peking") and popularly known as Peking man.