Chinese Science Bulletin

, 54:3848 | Cite as

The Homo sapiens Cave hominin site of Mulan Mountain, Jiangzhou District, Chongzuo, Guangxi with emphasis on its age

  • ChangZhu Jin
  • WenShi Pan
  • YingQi Zhang
  • YanJun Cai
  • QinQi Xu
  • ZhiLu Tang
  • Wei Wang
  • Yuan Wang
  • JinYi Liu
  • DaGong Qin
  • R. Lawrence Edwards
  • Hai Cheng
Articles/Geology

Abstract

One of the most hotly debated and frontal issues in paleoanthropology focuses on the origins of modern humans. Recently, an incomplete hominin mandible with a distinctly weaker mental protuberance than modern human and a great variety of coexisting fossil mammals were unearthed from the Homo sapiens Cave of Mulan Mountain, Chongzuo, Guangxi. The mammalian fauna from the Homo sapiens Cave characterized by the combination of Elephas kiangnanensis, first occurring Elephas maixmus, and Megatapirus augustus, and strikingly different from the Early Pleistocene Gigantopithecus fauna and the Middle Pleistocene Ailuropoda-Stogodon fauna of South China could be regarded as an early representive of the typical Asian elephant fauna. Faunal analysis, biostratigraphic correlation, and, most importantly, U-series dating all consistently support an estimate of ca. 110 ka for the age of the fossil Homo sapiens and coexisting mammalian fauna, that is, the early Late Pleistocene. The fauna is mainly made up of tropical-subtropical elements, but grassland elements have a much greater variety than forest elements, which probably indicates a drier climate at that time. This discovery of early Homo sapiens at the Mulan Mountain will play a significant role in the study of the origin and its environmental background of modern humans.

Keywords

Homo sapiens Cave Chongzuo Guangxi Homo sapiens Asian elephant fauna early Late Pleistocene origin of modern humans 

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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • ChangZhu Jin
    • 1
  • WenShi Pan
    • 2
  • YingQi Zhang
    • 1
  • YanJun Cai
    • 3
  • QinQi Xu
    • 1
  • ZhiLu Tang
    • 1
  • Wei Wang
    • 4
  • Yuan Wang
    • 1
  • JinYi Liu
    • 1
  • DaGong Qin
    • 2
  • R. Lawrence Edwards
    • 5
  • Hai Cheng
    • 5
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Evolutionary Systematics of Vertebrates, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP)Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Earth EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  4. 4.Natural History Museum of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous RegionNanningChina
  5. 5.Department of Geology and GeophysicsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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