I wrote about this last week, but the People’s Daily today weighs in on the significance of the discovery at Xuchang. Researchers at the site located in Henan province uncovered a nearly-complete 100,000 skull that has caused great excitement in the Chinese scientific community.
The discovery at Xuchang supports the theory that modern Chinese man originated in what is present-day Chinese territory rather than Africa.
There are still scientists who insist on the multi-regional evolution model, which holds that modern man descended from several indigenous archaic human populations in the Old World, such as the Neanderthals, who resided in Europe, or from the so-called Java man, or Peking man in Asia.
The oldest human fossils found in China so far are those of the 1.7-million-year old Yuanmou Hominid. All ancient human fossils unearthed in China share a common morphology: shovel-shaped fore-teeth, a rectangular eye pit and a flat face, which indicate that ancient man living in China evolved continuously along an uninterrupted evolutionary chain for 1.7 million years.
The Xuchang man helps support the multi-regional theory.
Extraordinary archaeological discoveries are critical to maintaining our national identity as well as the history of our ancient civilization.
That last line is the money quote. Not to repeat myself from last week, but I have a hunch that “maintaining our national identity” is at least as important (if not more so) in interpreting these finding as was scientific methodology. I hope I’m wrong, but I have a really bad feeling I’m not.