Zhao Chengwen, a professor at the China Criminal Police Institute, at work in his office.
An expert in police forensics has successfully reproduced the head image of a prehistoric man that lived one million years ago in Yunxian, central China's Hubei province, a cradle of Chinese human ancestors. The "Yunxian Man" is believed to have lived earlier than the prehistoric "Peking Man".
Zhao Chengwen, senior professor at the China Criminal Police Institute, restored the ancient man's head image based on a fossil skull excavated in 1990 from Yunxian, a county in northwestern part of Hubei province.
The Yunxian Man fossil skull is believed by scientists to belong to homo erectus, a predecessor of homo sapiens that walked on their two legs with an upright body posture. The fossil skull is the only wholly preserved skull of a homo erectus in China.
Before this feat, Professor Zhao had successfully reproduced images of some 20 ancient people based on their remains, either a mummified body or a piece of skull.
The expert said that the restored Yunxian Man image could well provide concrete reference for research on the relationship between homo erectus and homo sapiens that lived in prehistoric northern and southern China.
The file photo shows the fossil skull of a one-million-year-old prehistoric man, known as Yunxian Man.
This undated photo shows the restored image of the one-million-year-old prehistoric Yunxian Man.
(CRI November 16, 2007)