New Ancient Man Skull Discovered in China
Written By: GN
An almost perfectly preserved fossilized skull is found to be the nearest species to the homo sapiens, replacing Neanderthals.
This skull was named “Dragon Man,” after the Heilongjiang region where it was discovered. It was also formally christened homo longi.
Scientists have also claimed that the discovery of the Dragon Man redefines everything we previously knew about human evolution.
The Dragon Man is approximately 146,000 years old, but its recent history has been full of twists and turns. The skull was originally discovered in 1933 amid the Japanese occupation of China.
It was unearthed by Chinese laborers building a bridge in the region. Resolved to hide it from the Japanese, one of the workers wrapped the skull and hid it in a well. It wasn’t until years later, on his deathbed, that he told his son about the skull.
In 2018, the skull was given to Professor Ji Qiang of Hebei Geo University in China. Together with his team, Qiang has meticulously studied and carbon dated the skull. His study’s findings have been published in several papers in the journal, The Innovation.
The Missing Link?
Scientists believe that the skull belonged to a 50-year-old male in the Middle Pleistocene period. Based on their analysis, the homo longi has a 9-inch long skull, wide brow ridges, square eye sockets, and a hulking figure.
According to Qiang’s team, the skull has both primitive and modern features, which sets it apart as a member of a sister lineage closer to the homo sapiens than the Neanderthals are.
This hypothesis was reached through statistical analysis of 600 homo longi traits compared to other primitive early man skulls on record. Results showed that the homo longi belongs to an entirely different branch of the family tree.
However, there is another possibility that the Dragon Man skull is actually a part of the Denisovans, another early man posited to be close to the homo sapien lineage. The problem is that the only known Denisovan fossils are small fragments. Further analysis to test the claim would need more fossil evidence.
Qiang acknowledges that the Dragon Man does bear some similarities to the Denisovans, but remains positive that the Denisovans are genetically closer to the Neanderthals while the homo longi is closer to the homo sapiens.
For now, the Dragon Man joins the other uncategorized early man mysteries until further genetic sequencing is done or new fossil evidence comes to light.
What do you think of the New Ancient Man Skull Discovered in China? Comment below.