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Yuanmou man

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The sculpture of Yuanmou Man (Homo erectus yuanmouensis) in Yunan, China.
Yuanmou man
Scientific Classification
Trinomial name

Homo erectus yuanmouensis [1]

Yuanmou Man, recognized as China’s earliest ancient inhabitants, lived estimated 1,700,000 years ago approximately. The main way they obtained food was gathering and hunting. Due to the adverse natural environment and harsh conditions of life, Yuanmou Man lived in a social lifestyle for most of their existence. They collaborated so they could work and share the food they earned together. They also learned to utilize stone tools and fire for various purposes; the social life of Yuanmou Man constituted the earliest human society. That period of culture was called the “Paleolithic culture.” [2] The local government constructed a monument for Yuanmou site. They also built a museum which was not far from the site to display specimens of Yuanmou Man’s teeth fossils, ancient animal fossils, and some other related materials and documents.[3] Additionally, the discovery of the historical site of Yuanmou Man had great historical significance and scientific research value. Hence, China, along with some other countries, has decided to include this discovery into textbooks. In February 1982, Council of State announced that the site became the second passel of Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level. [4]

Discovery Process

Teeth of Yuanmou Man, unearthed in 1965.

Yuanmou Man is known as the earliest Homo erectus in China. In May of 1965, The Chinese Academy Of Geological Sciences found the archaeological site near the village of Nabang village in Yuanmou country, Yunnan Province was located on the edge of the Yuanmou Basin. [5] The basin exposed a set of 695 meters thick river and lake facies deposit. From the bottom to the top, the sediment is divided into four sections consisting of twenty-eight layers. Yuanmou man’s teeth were found in the twenty-two layers of the fourth section. After this discovery, at the same section as well as the same layer, archeologists excavated a small amount of stoneware, a large number of carbon debris and mammal fossils. The geological age of Yuanmou man is early Pleistocene. According to Archaeomagnetic dating, the age can be determined to be 1.7 million years ago.

The fossil of Yuanmou Man includes two medial incisors with one on the left and another one on the right; these two incisors belong to the same adult individual. The corona dentis is integrated, but the top of dedendum is broken. The surface of the teeth has some small cracks that were filled with brown clay. The teeth are very thick and the facies labialis("Vestibular surface of anterior tooth that contacts vestibular surface of upper or lower lips") (The Free Dictionary)[6] is relatively flat. The model of the facies labials was extremely complex showing its obvious pristine nature.[7]

Archeologists have unearthed a total of seven stone products with clear artificial appearance. The raw materials for the tools were Quartz Vein ("a vein filled with quartz either of igneous origin or deposited from solution") ([8], and these stone products were not in a large size. There were lithic core and scrapers as well. Although they were not found in the as the same horizontal plane as the fossil teeth, their horizon was roughly the same and not in a far distance. Therefore, the scholars regarded these products as belonging to Yuanmou Man and that they manufactured these tools and utilized them. [2]

The carbon bits were found by archaeologists, and it was discovered that they were mixed with clay and silt clay, with a small amount of gravel lens. Carbon bits are roughly divided into three layers, and the distance between each layer was 30 to 50 CM. Charcoal dust is commonly associated with mammal fossils. In addition, the largest carbon crumbs can approximately up to 15 mm in diameter, the smaller ones usually around 1 mm. [2] The age of Yuanmou man is Late Miocene.[9]

1965 Fang Qian and Yuqing Pu, along with other scholars, went to the vicinity of the village to search for fossils. Under the guidance of an old cowherd, they headed to the valley which was one kilometer west of the Bang Village to look for fossils. At 5 p.m., one man from this group found a fossil of Yunnan horse and then found two hominoid incisors. After thorough excavation, the scholars brought the tooth fossils back to Beijing.
1972(Feb) Chengzhi Hu who was from the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences identified the fossils, and he announced this discovery in the first issue of "Journal of Geology" in 1973. The title of this article was The fossil of ape man's teeth founded in Yuanmou, Yunnan.
1973(Oct) Chinese Academy of Sciences Gujizhui Animal And Gurenlei Institute (the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) organized a large-scale excavation. They discovered some artificial chipped stone tools, carbon dust, and some mammal fossils near the former stratum, but no new human-like fossils were found.
1976 (Jul. 25) By the means of Paleomagnetic Test, the absolute geological age of the stratum was 1.7 million years, but later this data became controversial. [3]


Cast of tools used by Yuanmou Man were found in China, and they are displayed in Shanghai Natural History Museum.

In 1973, archeologists unearthed three stone implement in the Yuanmou Man’s physic stratum. Also, they collected three pieces of stone tools at the same location. It was predicted that the rain washed these three out of the ground.

The first three pieces of tools which made in quartz rock were scrapers. One of the three was a two-blade scraper manufactured with gallet. According to the artificial processing trace on the tool, Yuanmou Man would be used for hitting and smashing things in order to repair them. The second one is a multi-blade scraper made of small stones. Three sides of this tool also had artificial marks. The third one is a sharp-bladed scraper which is also made with little rocks.[10]

Tools that been collected: One of them is Lithic core. The lithic core is around 90 millimeters spindle-shaped. The second one is a Lithic flake. The raw material made of this lithic fade is red sandstone (verrucano). The third one is a sharp-pointed device that is made of quartz rock.

According to the observation and analysis all the stone tools, it is arduous to infer the process of their technology. However, we can conclude that Yuanmou Man knew how to use a pounding method to construct and mend stone tools as well as to manufacture small-sized scrappers devices. Additionally, two black bones were found in the strata. Scientists have identified that these bones have been probably but. There are great amounts of charcoal found as well. The scientists concluded that were evidence of Yuanmou Man using fire. After many years of excavation, archaeologists found seventeen stone tools from the site; thereinto, they unearthed seven from the strata and collected ten pieces from the ground. [10]

Historical site's current situation

Due to the lack of funds, protecting the historic site of Yuanmou Man is extremely difficult. On the one hand, it is uneasy to employ strong and effective measures on nature invasion, such as rain erosion, soil erosion, which could potentially wash away the cultural relics buried in the underground. On the other hand, the supervision and management among the site is scarce. There is a contradiction between the local’s desire for local development and the protection of the site, leading to a great number of laterite for planting, over-grazing livestock, discarding garbage and other issues. All these problems have caused enormous damage to the historical site. [11]

“Very desolated,” the cultural relics charge of Yuanmou county’s TV tourism, Zhicong Qi, stated. Since recent decades, the county and its superiors did not have a regular amount of input for protection. The historical site of Yuanmou Man has no full-time manager, particular supervisory room, or fences to prevent people get in. Fortunately, the overall condition and preservation of the site are good so that no serious damage on the site and no trace of stealing has occurred in recent years. [12]

Yuanmou Man VS. Peking Man VS. Upper Cave Man

Skull fragment of Peking Man
This picture shows the skull a Upper Cave Man and the tools from them.

Different locations: Peking Man was found in the upper cave near Beijing; Yuanmou Man was found on the Northwestern hill in Clam village in Yuanmou County, Yunnan Province. From the appearance: According to the incisors fossil of Yuanmou Man, the inside part of the incisors is very thick, with a distinct primitive character. On the contrary, Peking Man had the low forehead, thick brow, wide, flat nose, and prominent mouth. Their heads were slightly forward which contributed to characteristics similar to the ape. The Upper Cave Man looked similar to a modern human.

Utilizing tools: Yuanmou Man had already manufactured some coarse tools and known to use fire; Due to the obvious specialization of feet and hands, Peking Man could create rough stone tools, knew how to use fire, and save tinder. They also learned to use fire for lighting, protection against cold, and chasing the beasts and animals that affected their ability to adapt to nature. The Upper Cave Man were masters of polishing and drilling technology, and they could sew clothes with bone needles. They lived relying on collecting food, hunting, and fishing.

The living environment Yuanmou Man dwelled was destitute and infertile. They did not have a fixed residence. In addition, even though they knew how to use fire, they were not able to keep the tinder. Their ability to resist the potential danger from nature was also insufficient. Peking Man usually lived in caves as a group. They employed rugged tools to fight. The Upper Cave Man lived with people who had a blood relationship. The discovery of seashells polished stone beads, and other decorations show that they possessed an appreciation for beauty. They also buried people after they died. [13]

Christian's perceptive

Morris stated that "It may well be that Homo erectus was a true man, but somewhat degenerate in size and culture, possibly because of inbreeding, poor diet and a hostile environment,” which pointed out evolutionists’ misunderstanding of Homo erectus.[14] Even though evolutionists consider Homo erectus as sub-human because they share some particular characters with humankind, such as massive brow ridges. They cannot provide sufficient evidence to prove Homo erectus were not human beings. Additionally, there is enough proof revealing that Homo erectus were able to walk upright and employ fire in their daily life, bury corpse as well. Their brains were located the same place as humans. These characteristics all indicated Homo erectus are people instead of apes.[15] [16]

ALL skulls can be identified as being either ape or human. There are NO other classes, for they are all the imaginings of the evolutionary paleaoanthropologists who insist on concocting a string of links between man and apes. In order to fill this enormous gap, any ape skull is greatly enlarged and the fossil's 'human' features exaggerated (e.g. Peking man and 'Lucy'), whilst human skulls are decreased and their 'ape' features are similary emphasised (e.g. 1470 Man). ---Malcolm Bowden]


This video mainly talked about Yuanmou Man in Tulin Forest. Because the language narrator spoke was Korean, people may set the language of the subtitle below this video to automatical translation to English.

Christian educator, Chris Ashcraft, lectured about examining ape-man including Homo erectus to argue about human evolution.


  1. Homo erectus Wikispecies. Web. Last modified on April 18 2016, at 12:58
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The characteristics of Yuanmou Man Baiduzhidao'. Web. Published July 25, 2011. at 15.59
  3. 3.0 3.1 Yuanmou Man Baidubaike. Web. Accessed November 26, 2016.)
  4. The historical site of Yuanmou Man People's government of Yuanmou County. Web. Accessed December 31, 2016.
  5. Preliminary study on the age of Yuanmou man by palaeomagnetic technique. ‘' Web. last-accessed January 5, 2016.
  6. facies labialis dentis. ‘'Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary. Web. last-accessed January 7, 2016.
  7. YUANMOU ‘’East Asian Index. Web.last-accessed - January 3, 2017.
  8. quartz vein ‘’Merriam-webster. Web. last-accessed - January 10, 2017.
  9. Taxonomy, age and environment status of the Yuanmou hominoids Springerlink. Web. March, 2016.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Yuanmou Man ‘' Web. last-accessed January 5, 2017
  11. The Origin of Man ‘’’’. Web. last-accessed January 3, 2017.
  12. Current status of the site Baidubaike. Web. Published December 4, 2015. At 22:12
  13. Compare and contrast Yuanmou Man and Peking Man Baiduzhidao. Web. Published September 1 2016.
  14. Creationist Arguments: Homo erectus ‘’ Web. last-accessed January 4, 2017.
  15. Homo erectus refutes human evolution ‘'Evolution dismantle. Web. last-accessed January 4, 2017.
  16. Anderson, Daniel Putting chimpanzees, ‘hominids’, and humans in their proper place ‘' Web. Published July 18, 2007.
  17. Bowden, Malcolm[Homo Erectus —A Fabricated Class of 'Ape-Men'] Tech.J., vol3, 1988 page 152-153.