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Wanshouyan, the site of Fujian’s earliest human ancestors

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-03-03

Wanshouyan, the site of Fujian’s earliest human ancestors

Two sculptures stand in the foreground of the Wanshouyan Site. The works of art evoke the humans that worked and lived in the area located in modern day Yanqian village, Sanyuan district. [Photo/Xinhua]

Wanshouyan, the site of Fujian’s earliest human ancestors

The entrance to the Wanshouyan Site framed by flowers. The Fujian province site is located 30 kilometers from the city of Sanming’s downtown area and remains a popular regional tourist attraction. [Photo/Xinhua]

Amongst the mysterious karst land formations in China’s Southeast Fujian province, a miraculous discovery was made in in the 1980s; Wanshouyan, Paleolithic era site that evidences human life 185,000 years ago.

Fujian province has provided the vast majority of the country’s archeological evidence on Paleolithic cultures and Wanshouyan, located in Sanming Municipality, is arguably the pinnacle of such historically important discoveries with Chuanfan cave, Lingfeng cave, and Longjing cave comprising the main three sites.

Lingfeng cave dates as the oldest Paleolithic site in East China and proved groundbreaking in terms of evidencing the presence of humans a few hundred thousand years earlier than had previously been believed. The excavations that took place between 1999 and 2000 unearthed more than 70 stone choppers, scraping devices, and hammering tools across three separate layers.

One reason for the site’s significance is its connections to similar discoveries made in Taiwan. The discovery of similar stone artifacts dating from 20,000 to 30,000 years ago serve to demonstrate the protocultural connections between the two regions, i.e. the notion that skills and techniques were passed from one cultural group to another.

Nowadays, scholars and experts from Taiwan use the Fujian site to further their own research.

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