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Working Committee Set up to Trace Lost Fossils of Peking Man
2005-07-04

A working committee was founded Saturday in Beijing to trace the mysteriously lost skulls of Peking Man, fossils of homo erectus discovered in a suburban area of the Chinese capital 76 years ago.

Peking was the old English spelling for Beijing.

The discovery of the 500,000-year-old skull fossil in 1929 by a Chinese archaeologist was regarded one of the most decisive steps in the scientific quest to trace Peking Man's prehistoric development from the apes.

Five intact Peking Man skulls, 147 teeth and some bone fragments, however, went missing during the World War II when they were shipped to the United States in an attempt to escape Japanese looting.

China, the United States and Japan all started searching for the precious fossils after the war, but their whereabouts kept mysterious till today. The tracing work used to be non-governmental before the committee was set up, but the involvement of the district government of Fangshan, where Peking Man was found, changed the situation.

The working committee is headed by the district government, and the Peking Man Ruins management and palaeoanthropologists from the

Chinese Academy of Sciences will work together to carry out the tracing work.

The committee will make a detail plan on searching and investigation, and will not give up any tip and clue, said Qi Hong, committee director and acting head of Fangshan district government.

Xinhuanet


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