human skull 32,000 years china caves
© Xinhua/Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology
A combination photograph depicts a cave location in Lushan County, Henan Province, central China, where a human skull fossil dating back 32,000 years was discovered.
A human skull fossil going back 32,000 years has been discovered at a cave site in central China's Henan Province, according to local archaeological officials.

Guanyin Township, Lushan County, is the location of the cave. Previously discovered human fossils, animal fossils, and stone tools in the region during the palaeolithic archaeological study.

"There are two caverns at the site, one of which is 9 metres long, 3 metres wide, and 3.9 metres tall, covering an area of 30 square metres," said Zhao Qingpo, an archaeologist, adding that the cave is significantly larger than previous caves discovered in the vicinity.

32,000 yo human skull discovered in Hunan, China
© Xinhua/Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology
Fragments of a 32,000 yo human skull discovered in Hunan, China
Aside from tooth and skull fossils, scientists discovered over 10,000 bone pieces dating from 30,000 to 40,000 years old from horses, goats, bears, deer, boars, and wolves.
stone tools cave china
© Xinhua/Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology
Animal fossils were discovered in a cave in Lushan County, Henan Province, central China.
The uranium-series dating method was used by anthropologists to determine the age of two human skull fossils discovered at the cave site, which were 32,000 and 12,000 years old, respectively. The former item is the province's earliest known fossil of early modern people.

"The new finds are extremely important for understanding the origins and evolution of modern people in China," said Liu Haiwang, president of the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology.