Chief Scientist: LIU Wu
Since the discovery of the Huanglong Cave in Yunxi County, Hubei Province in 2004, three excavations have been conducted there, unearthing seven human fossil teeth, 30 artifacts made by ancient humans, more than 3,000 mammal fossils and other evidence showing human activities. Preliminary analysis indicates that the features of the human fossils resemble those of late Pleistocene humans of China; the stone tools display patterns of both the southern and northern Paleolithic cultures of China; the mammal fossils represent the “Ailuropoda-Stegodon” faunal unit which lived in southern China throughout the Pleistocene. ESR and U-series dating indicate that its age ranges from 103 to 44 Ka. The Huanglong Cave is situated in the West Hubei and Three Gorge regions, where rich human fossils and related resources have been found. Therefore, the human fossils and other related materials from Huanglong Cave will provide important information for research on the origin of modern Chinese. The present project plans to carry out a series of excavations, laboratory analyses and other related studies, trying to find more human fossils and other related materials; and plans to make clear the physical characteristics and behaviors of humans living at Huanglong Cave. The role of the West Hubei and Three Gorge regions in the human evolution in China will be further explored. This project is expected to make some new progress in the late Pleistocene human evolution and modern human origins of China.