North China's Hebei Province will take a series of measures to strengthen preservation and study of the ruins of the Nihewan Culture, a state natural reserve, according to a source with the provincial department of culture.
The ruins of the Nihewan Culture are located between Yangyuan and Weixian counties of the province, which is well-known in the world for the discovery of mammal fossils and traces of the Old Stone Age in the stratum of the Quaternary Period.
Hebei Province has set up a special research institute for the purpose of stepping up preservation and study of the ruins, which is expected to take charge of drafting the protection plans and administrative rules on their protection, the source said.
The province will also set up a museum to display relics and promote study of the Nihewan Culture Ruins.
The province vowed to join the forces of the cultural, relics and geological departments to make major breakthroughs at this important site for studying the origin of mankind.
Hebei will launch and organize a series of research projects regarding Nihewan paleoanthropology archaeology of the Old Stone Age and geology in the Quaternary Period as well as natural environment, the source said.
Since the 1920s, both Chinese and foreign archaeologists have conducted long-standing and in-depth studies of the ruins of the Nihewan Culture which have led to a series of important discoveries.
In September 2001, traces indicating early humans had dined there were observed in the ruins, which challenged the traditional theory that mankind originated in Africa, the source added.
(Xinhua News Agency April 4, 2003)