Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

East Asia: Early Homo Fossil Records

  • Xinzhi WuEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_648


Early Homo fossil records of East Asia are attributed to those within the Early Pleistocene, represented by the following specimens found in China only. Those are identified as Asian Homo erectus; thus, their physical characteristics and geocultural context are described below.

Key Issues/Current Debates/Examples


The human fossils were found in 1965 in brown clay of fluvial deposits between Shangnabang and Danawu Villages, Yuanmou County, Yunnan Province, in southwestern China. The fossils are represented by left and right upper median incisors. The incisors are large, indicative of a male individual. The teeth are moderately worn (Fig.  1a, b). The crown is rather thick and swollen. On the upper part of the lingual surface, there is a prominent basal tubercle. Three fingerlike processes diverge from the lower margin of this tubercle. The middle process is the thickest and longest of the three; it extends almost to the biting edge of the crown. Prominent ridges...
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Further Reading

  1. de Lumley, H. & T.Y. Li. 2006. Le site de l’homme de Yunxian. Paris: CNRS editions.Google Scholar
  2. Huang, P.H. & R. Grün. 1998. Study on burying age of fossil teeth from Yuanmou Man site, Yunnan Province, China. Acta Anthropologica Sinica 17:165-70 (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  3. Qian, F., Q. Li, P. Wu, S. Yuan, R. Xing, H. Chen & H. Zhang. 1991. Lower Pleistocene, Yuanmou formation, in Quaternary geology and paleoanthropology of Yuanmou, Yunnan, China: 17-50. Beijing: Science Press (in Chinese with English abstract).Google Scholar
  4. Wu, X.Z. & F.E. Poirier. 1995.Human evolution in China: a metric description of the fossils and a review of the sites. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Zhu, R.X., R. Potts, Y.X. Pan, H.T. Yao, L.Q. Lu, X. Zhao, X. Gao, L.W. Chen, F. Gao & C.L. Deng. 2008. Early evidence of the genus Homo in East Asia. Journal of Human Evolution 55: 1075-85.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PalaeoanthropologyInstitute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina