Unearthed in Yuanqu,
ape fossils dated probably to 45 million years ago might be one of the earliest
forms of world’s primates.
From probably 3 million to the end of Pleistocene era, the time archaeologists
called Palaeolithic, our remote ancestors lived in small mobile groups,
scavenging for foods, as well as hunting, gathering, and fishing. Their way of
life progressed from eating uncooked carcasses to using and making fires. They
passed along knowledge of stone tool technology from generations to
generations, thus creating material cultures that distinguish one from another.
In Shanxi, more than
300 palaeolithic sites have been identified so far, the highest number of sites
dating before 10,000 B.P. ever found in a single province. The archaeological
evidences from these recovered materials point to the fact that two main
cultural complexes, represented by two different stone tool industries, might
have co-existed in North China. The study of these materials provides us with a
unique opportunity to understand the past of Shanxi in Palaeolithic time.