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Peking Man Site Gets Better Protection
The Zhoukoudian Peking Man Ruins -- a World Heritage Site -- will be co-managed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Beijing municipal government in a bid to boost protection.

The shake-up follows concerns last year of damage to the site where the first skull of the Peking Man dating back 500,000 years was discovered in the 1920s.

The deterioration was blamed on a lack of maintenance funds and inadequate management by the Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology under CAS.

According to an agreement signed in Beijing on Friday, CAS is to focus on research and development at the site. The Beijing municipal government will take over responsibility for maintenance and extend protection control to surrounding areas.

A coordination committee will be established by both parties to direct preservation work.

Special funds have been earmarked to renovate the Zhoukoudian Museum, which has been closed for more than half a year due to lack of funding.

The site in Beijing's southwest suburbs stores evidence of the earliest human's use of fire and is known as the only site showing continuous prehistoric human activity between 500,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Unfortunately, the skull of Peking Man along with five other valuable intact skulls were lost during World War II.

(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2002)

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