Scientists have uncovered something that may alter all understanding of human evolution as we know it. History of the human race will possibly undergo revision now that an enormous fossilized skull that was buried in the depths of a well in China has been discovered.
Dubbed “Dragon Man,” the detected skull was actually found and buried by an employee at a bridge construction site in the Chinese city of Harbin back in 1933. After the employee found the skull he wrapped it and hid it in a well to keep it from being intercepted by the occupying Japanese army. Back in 2018, shortly before his death, the heroic man told his grandson of his hidden treasure, according to CBS. The family donated the findings to the Hebei Geo University in China to be studied, according to CNET.
Hebei Geo University Professor Qiang Ji and an international team, which he leads, found that the skull is at least 146,000 years old after using geochemical techniques, according to CBS. Colloquially known as “Dragon Man,” but scientifically known as the Middle Pleistocene Harbin human cranium, the skull gives insight into true evolution of the human species.
“The Middle Pleistocene Harbin human cranium is one of the best-preserved of all archaic human fossils, and has great significance for understanding the diversification of the Homo genus and the origin of Homo sapiens,” researchers stated in an article for the journal of Innovation. “It represents a new human lineage evolving in East Asia, and is placed as a member of the sister group.”
There are few significant differences between the Harbin cranium and other Homo species, one prominent disparity being that the Harbin cranium is bigger than every other known archaic human, according to researchers.
“It differs from all the other named Homo species,” researchers wrote, noting that it has a mix of ancient and modern features like a “gently curved” but “massively developed” brow ridge and low, flat cheekbones with “shallow” depressions beneath them. And compared to today’s more modern, round skull, researchers said the Harbin cranium was long and low,” as noted by CBS.
While Dragon Man is very unique, other researchers believe that the fossil may be linked to the Dali man skull which was also found in China.
“I would prefer to place the Harbin and Dali fossils together as (Homo) daliensis,” Chris Stringer, a member of the research team, wrote. “I also consider Harbin as a possible Denisovan, although much more work is needed there.” Researchers have classified the Harbin as a new human species titled, Homo longi.
“The species name is derived from the geographic name Long Jiang, which is a common usage for the Heilongjiang Province and literally means “dragon river,” researches stated in an article for the journal of Innovation.
Research is still being done, however as of now Dragon Man has been placed in a lane of its own. While we still have not found any evidence dragons, we do have evidence of Dragon Man.