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Dragon Bone Hill: an Ice-Age Saga of Homo erectus.


Dragon Bone Hill--discovered in China in the 1930s--produced the largest cache of early hominid fossils the world had ever known. Included was Peking Man, today known as Homo erectus. Armed with some sharp rocks and a little fire, this hominid survived for more than 1.5 million years, unfortunately, many of the Chinese fossils were lost during the Japanese invasion of the 1930s. However, the artifacts were well documented and contributed to major studies. Boaz and Ciochon tell of Dragon Bone Hill from the initial finds by Swedish geologist J. Gunnar Andersson to the loss of the fossils. Then they describe the collection of subsequent data at the site and follow our modern-clay understanding of Homo erectus, The research reveals that these prehumans endured a brutal existence ruled by hunger and enforced by clubs. Boaz and Ciochon also document the species' oddly unchanging culture and explore how small brain size limited speech, The authors also tackle the controversial question of where this species originated. OUP, 2004, 232 p., color plates/b&w photos/illus., hardcover, $30.00.
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Title Annotation:Books
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 15, 2004
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