Partial Human Skulls Unearthed In China Belong To An Unknown Ancient Species

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Archaeologists working on the Liagjing site in Xuchang, located in central China’s Henan province, have uncovered the partial remains of two skulls which they believe could belong to a yet undiscovered ancient humanoid species. The skulls, which have been dated at between 105,000 to 125,000 years old present with a peculiar mixture of modern human and Neanderthal features.

DNA analysis has not yet been conducted on the pair of skulls and, for this reason, scientists are unwilling to speculate too wildly about the provenance of the skulls at this point. However, the debate has already begun to brew on the skulls origins. According to Chinese experts, it is possible that these skulls are evidence of an undiscovered human ancestor. However, other experts including Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London and Katerina Harvati from the University of Tübingen think that it is entirely possible that the owners of these skulls may have already been identified.

Chinese archaeologists find partial skulls which might belong to unknown human species

It is entirely possible, say these experts, that the skulls are rare examples of physical evidence of the Denisovans, an elusive cousin of the Neanderthals who is believed to have walked the Earth between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago. DNA testing has revealed that modern Chinese people have around 0.1% Denisovan DNA which indicates that homo sapiens once interbred with these mysterious people.

The Denisovans are a huge mystery to archaeological and scientific experts because so little of their remains have ever been discovered. The only known Denisovan remains to date are comprised of a single finger bone and a handful of teeth that were unearthed in a cave in Siberia in 2008. The possibility that two partial skulls have been uncovered has made the scientific community incredibly excited about the potential wealth of knowledge they could offer about ancient human origins.

“It is a very exciting discovery, “said Harvati. “Especially because the human fossil record from East Asia has been not only fragmentary but also difficult to date.” However, in recent years, Chinese archaeologists have made huge strides in filling in the missing pieces in the human family tree leading María Martinón-Torres from the University College London to say that China is effectively “rewriting the story of human evolution.”

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