Chinese search for origin of humans

CHINESE archeologists leave for Kenya on Sunday on a two-month expedition to trace the origins of modern humans.

East Africa has been a hotspot for the study of human evolution since the 1950s.

The team will work with the National Museum of Kenya to excavate an area in Rift Valley Province, working on an area of 200 square meters on a site discovered in 2016, said Li Zhanyang, team leader and researcher with the Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archeology in central China’s Henan Province.

They will also investigate an area of 20 square kilometers for the remains of ancient humans near the Baringo and Bogoria lakes.

In preliminary investigations in April and May, 40 stone tools believed to be from the Paleolithic Sangoan Culture (200,000-300,000 years ago) were collected.

Establishing whether the Sangoan Culture had any relation to the origin of modern Chinese humans is one of the objectives of the excavation, said Li, who discovered human cranial fossils in 2007 and 2014 in Henan’s Xuchang.

Comparative study of Chinese and African prehistoric humans is essential as the Xuchang Human (more than 100,000 years old) shares characteristics with early modern humans in north China, Li said.

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