Dragon Bone Hill

Noel T. Boaz and Russell L. Ciochon

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195152913
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790036 | DOI:
Dragon Bone Hill

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This book recreates the story of life before Homo sapiens walked the earth. It was once thought that “Peking Man”, the remains of a cave man discovered at the famous fossil site of Dragon Bone Hill in China, had been a great hunter. But Peking Man was actually a composite of the remains of some fifty women, children, and men unfortunate enough to have been the prey of a giant cave hyena. The book retells the story of the cave's unique species of early human, Homo erectus. New evidence shows that Homo erectus was an opportunist who rode a tide of environmental change out of Africa into Eurasia, puddle-jumping from one gene pool to the next. Armed with a shaky hold on fire and some sharp rocks, Homo erectus survived for over 1.5 million years, much longer than Homo sapiens, our own species, has been on Earth. Tell-tale marks on fossil bones show that the lives of these early humans were brutal, yet there are fleeting glimpses of human compassion as well. The small brain of Homo erectus and its strangely unchanging culture indicate that the species could not talk. Part of that primitive culture included ritualized aggression, to which the extremely thick skulls of Homo erectus bear witness.

Keywords: multidisciplinary; Dragon Bone Hill; China; Homo sapiens; Peking Man; Homo erectus; Africa; Eurasia

Book.  252 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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Table of Contents

The Bones of Dragon Hill in Dragon Bone Hill


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