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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Digging up China's bones

(Shanghai Daily)

08:41, January 06, 2012

Zhou Guoxing works at an excavation in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Zhou Guoxing has tracked missing skulls of Peking Man, led expeditions in search of the Chinese Wild Man and the Abominable Snowman, made major discoveries about human origins and helped police with forensics.

Paleoanthropologist Zhou, 74, a former director of the Beijing Museum of Natural History, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Shanghai Anthropological Association last November at Fudan University; he delivered a talk and spoke to Shanghai Daily. "Anthropologists are explorers who adventure into the past," he said.

Zhou has been at the forefront of some of the most significant excavations in China and played a leading role in the study of human evolution. He maintains there are multiple origins of Chinese culture, noting that besides the Yellow River, the Yangtze River is another cradle of ancient civilization.

By studying the Yuanmou Man's fossils and artifacts in Yunnan Province, he confirmed that Chinese history started at least 1.7 million years ago. His findings were detailed in the article "On the Start of China as History" (1998).

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