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Sci Sin. 1977 Sep-Oct;20(5):645-64.

Preliminary study on the age of Yuanmou man by palaeomagnetic technique.


Since the discovery of the fossil teeth of Yuanmou man (Homo erectus yuanmouensis) on May 1, 1965 from Yuanmou county, Yunnan Province, the Institute of Geomechanics, relying on the local poor and lower-middle peasants and co-operating with other units concerned, has been conducting intensive researches on the fossil man-bearing strata as well as Quaternary glaciation. Palaeomagnetic technique lately used in the study has for the first time shown that the Yuanmou man appeared around 1.7 million years ago, earlier than both Peking man and Lantien man. Hence the age formerly assigned to the earliest fossil man in China has to be increased by more than a million years. Furthermore, as the age of Yuanmou formation is fixed at 1.5--3.1 million years, the length of Quaternary has to be extended by more than two million years. Of special interest is that under the Yuanmou formation there occur glacial traces which prove beyond doubt the existence of glaciation over 3 million years ago. This is a new discovery in the Quaternary history of China, and provides a new approach to the future study of this period.

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