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N China invests in early human project


19:54, June 26, 2013

SHIJIAZHUANG, June 26 (Xinhua) -- North China's Hebei Province will invest 5 million yuan (809,000 U.S. dollars) in a project to unearth early human fossils that may identify a new cradle of mankind.

The money will fund studies on early human activities and searches for human fossils at Nihewan Site in the city of Zhangjiakou, said Xie Fei, vice director of the cultural heritage bureau of Hebei and the project's leading researcher.

A project was launched earlier this month on identifying the site's status as "a cradle of the Orientals," while searching for human fossils to support the claim has been an essential part, according to Xie.

First discovered in 1921, the site has seen excavations of ancient animal fossils and stone tools dating back 2 million years ago, which have challenged the theory that Africa was the sole origin of mankind.

Among the prominent finds was a dining site where early hunters ate their game, including elephants, as well as more than 1,000 stone balls that scientists believed had been used as weapons.

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