The Pekingese Ruins at Zhukoudian – World Cultural Heritage in China

Scientific work at the site, located 42 kilometers southwest of Beijing, is still underway. So far, it has led to the discovery of the remains of Sinanthropus pekinensis, who lived in the Middle Pleistocene, along with various objects, and the remains of Homo sapiens dating from 18,000–11,000 BC. reminds of prehistoric human societies in mainland Asia, but also illustrates the process of evolution.

Accreditation year: 1987
Criterion: (iii)(vi)
Area: 480 hectares
Buffer zone: 888 ha
Fangshan District, Beijing City

The entrance to Zhukoudian

Outstanding global value

The Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian (Zhoukoudian) is a Pleistocene hominid site on the North China Plain. The site is located about 42 kilometers southwest of Beijing and is located at the junction of the North China Plain and the Yanshan Mountains. Sufficient water supplies and natural limestone caves in this area provided an optimal survival environment for early humans. Scientific work at the site is still underway. So far, ancient human fossils, cultural relics and animal fossils from 23 localities in the region dating from 5 million years ago to 10,000 years ago have been discovered by scientists. These include the remains of Homo erectus pekinensis, which lived in the Middle Pleistocene (700,000 to 200,000 years ago), archaic Homo sapiens about 200,000–100,000 years ago, and Homo sapiens sapiens dating from 30,000 years ago. At the same time, fossils of hundreds of animals, more than 100,000 pieces of stone tools and evidence (including fireplaces, ashes and burnt bones) of Pekingese using fire were discovered.

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As an important hominid discovery site in mainland Asia that represents an evolutionary cultural sequence, Zhoukoudian is of great importance in the global context. It is not only a special reminder of prehistoric human societies in the Asian continent, but also illustrates human evolution, and is of important value in the study and reconstruction. early human history.

Criterion (iii): The Zhoukoudian site is evidence for human communities in mainland Asia from the mid-Pleistocene to the Paleolithic, illustrating the evolutionary process.

Criterion (vi): The discovery of hominid remains at Zhoukoudian and subsequent research in the 1920s and 1930s attracted worldwide interest, subverting the chronology of Human history was widely accepted up to that time. Therefore, the excavations and scientific works at the Zhoukoudian site are of great value in the history of world archeology and have played an important role in the history of world science.

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All the elements needed to embody the values ​​of the Peking Man Monument at Zhoukoudian are included in the property’s boundaries. The localities where ancient human fossils were found, the habitats of ancient people as well as the excavation and scientific research in the 1920s and 1930s are all preserved intact and accurately reveal their scientific value. learn the importance of property. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 interrupted excavations and led to disastrous consequences: the previously discovered fossil of Sinanthropus Pekinensis was disassembled or lost. After the war, some human fossils unearthed through new excavations partially compensated for these losses, and the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian still retains its scientific value.

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The Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian carries historical evidence of human evolution, maintains and transmits its authentic historical information, and promotes research into the origins of early humans. The fossil localities and the context of the site have been effectively protected. The monument conservation projects have strictly followed the principles of cultural heritage conservation in terms of design, materials, methods and technology.

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Protection and management requirements

Based on laws and regulations including the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Cultural Relics, in order to protect property, the Beijing People’s Municipal Government issued the Northern People’s Relic Preservation Regulations. Beijing at Zhoukoudian in Beijing in 1989 ; revised in 2009 to the Zhoukoudian Area Conservation Regulation. Activities that may damage the site’s value such as mining and furnace burning are prohibited.

Thanks to the development and updating of revisions and improvements of the Scientific Conservation Plan of the Zhoukoudian Area (completed in 2006), the property is in excellent conservation condition. According to the Master Plan, the property area has been determined to be 4.8 km 2 and a buffer zone has been established. Meanwhile, a series of conservation projects have been carried out at the hotel. Laws, regulations and plans provide policy assurance for the conservation and scientific management of assets.

Map of Pekingese Ruins at Zhukoudian

Video about Pekingese Ruins at Zhukoudian

See also: UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites

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