China's paleolithic relics gain recognition from int'l experts

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Chinese and foreign experts have marveled at the archaeological and anthropological value of the Wanshouyan Paleolithic Relics in east China's Fujian Province.

Dozens of archaeological experts from China, Malaysia, Poland, Russia and Japan gathered in Sanming City on Friday and Saturday for a visit to the relics and academic exchanges.

"I have never seen such a thing," said Lucyna Domanska, a professor with the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Lodz from Poland, pointing to a 120-square-meter space floored with pebbles inside a cavern.

The artificial floor, built about 40,000 years ago, is part of the Wanshouyan Paleolithic Relics, a habitat of human ancestors dating back as early as 200,000 years ago.

"This site is very exciting," Domanska said. "It is important not only for Asia but for the whole world."

Some of the relics are "unusual," said Evgeny Rybin, a senior researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noting that "it could be a source of scientific advancements."

Standing inside a cavern named Lingfeng where ancient stone choppers, scraping devices and hammering tools were unearthed, Rybin said the relics from this site broadened their understandings about the capabilities of ancient people.

"The relics show that ancient people not only used caves but also changed them to fit their lifestyles," he said.

It is a contribution to the world, said Mohd Mokhtar Saidin, a professor and director of Malaysia's Center for Global Archaeological Research.

"This is very important. Not every country has evidence of human activities 200,000 years ago, and not every region has this type of cave," he added.

Inside the limestone hill of Wanshouyan, archaeological remains of the Paleolithic Age have been found in several caverns, which provide important evidence for studying human life as early as hundreds of thousands of years ago.

In 2000, the Wanshouyan Paleolithic Relics was listed as one of China's top 10 archaeological discoveries of the year.

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