Chinese archaeologists have found new evidence to show that ancient Chinese people knew how to use fire. The relics were discovered at the Peking Man cave site in the village of Zhoukoudian near Beijing. Peking Man is an ancient Chinese ape-man that lived as much as 750-thousand years ago.

According to archaeologists, there are about ten cultural layers in the cave of the Chinese ape-men. The fourth layer or ash layer is the top cultural layer indicating a period of human activities. Ancient Chinese probably lived from the third to the tenth level.

Archeologists have been digging the ruins since mid-May. In August they uncovered numerous relics, giving evidence that ancient Chinese knew how to use fire.

There are nearly 400 relics, including scrapers, choppers and hammers made of stone. More than 700 samples of medium and large animal bones, and fossils of rodents and birds have been uncovered.

The fire pits and ashes could be the relics showing the use of fire and the cave-life of ancient Chinese people.

[Gao Xing, Inst. of Vertebrate Paleontology & Paleoanthropology]:
"We can make an initial conclusion that ancient people have used fire [and] could keep the flame here. This place might be the fire pit in ancient times."

But Western archeologists have disputed the Peking Man Site as a suitable living area. The site was thought to be a big trap instead of an area for people to live - that Chinese ape-men and animals must have fallen into the entrapment.

Some experts do not think the Peking Men are ancestors of human beings because of their original characteristics and the primitive tools they made and used.

Still others dispute the ability of Peking Men to use and contain fire.