World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Fuyan Cave

Article Id: WHEBN0048289890
Reproduction Date:

Title: Fuyan Cave  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Er Wang Dong, Limestone caves, History of China, Zhoukoudian, Mogao Caves
Collection: Caves of Hunan, Limestone Caves, Paleoanthropological Sites, Paleolithic Sites in China
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Fuyan Cave

Fuyan Cave
Fuyan Cave is located in China
Shown within China
Location Hunan, China
Site notes
Excavation dates 2011, 2013

Fuyan Cave is a complex of limestone caves in Tangbei village, Lefutang town, Daoxian,[1] China famous for the discovery of the oldest evidence for unambiguously fully modern humans outside of Africa.[2] 47 human teeth, dating to between 80,000 to 120,000 years ago, were discovered at Fuyan Cave.[3] The teeth are also unusual for showing signs of cavities, a feature typically not found in teeth older than 50,000 years.[3]


  • Geology 1
  • Discovery 2
  • Dating 3
  • Implications 4
  • References 5


Fuyan consists of three caves connected by tunnels.[4] The cave system has a volume of 3,000 m3 (110,000 cu ft)[4] and ranges over 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi).[3]


Fuyan Cave was discovered in 1984.[1] The cave is located at latitude 25°39′02.7″N, longitude 111°28′49.2″E, at 232 m above sea level.[1]

The cave was excavated in 2011 over an area of 20 m2 (220 sq ft).[1] The 2011 excavation revealed 5 hominin teeth and fossil remains from 39 different mammalians species, including some extinct ones.[1] The cave was excavated in 2011 and in 2013.[5][4] The teeth were all discovered in the middle cave.[4]


The teeth were dated by dating nearby stalagmites.[6] The stalagmites were dated to at least 80,000 years.[6] Since the teeth were found under rock over which the stalagmites had grown over, the teeth must be older than 80,000 years old.[6]


The discovery is important for many reasons. Previous to this discovery, the earliest evidence for fully modern humans outside of the Arabian Peninsula (Tianyuan Cave, Niah Cave, Mungo Man) dates to around 40,000 to 50,000 years, so the discovery at Fuyan Cave provides evidence showing that humans migrated out of Africa a lot earlier than previously assumed.[2] [3] Secondly, the finds at Fuyan Cave are much closer to modern humans than they are to contemporary finds at Xujiayao and Qafzeh.[2][7] Thirdly, the discovery shows that there was an older, more primitive hominin already present in Northern China when the later, more modern hominin in Southern China arrived.[2] Lastly, the discovery occurs much earlier than evidence for fully modern humans in Europe (45,000 years), which may be explained by the presence of Neanderthals in Europe.[2][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "New Homonin Site Found in Daoxian County, Hunan Province of China". 
  2. ^ a b c d e Martinón-Torres, María. "Homo sapiens to the East of Eden". 
  3. ^ a b c d "Teeth from China reveal early human trek out of Africa". 
  4. ^ a b c d "Here’s Proof That the First Modern Humans Were Chinese". 
  5. ^ "Scientists sink teeth into history of humans in Asia". 
  6. ^ a b c "Neanderthals ‘kept our early ancestors out of Europe’". 
  7. ^ a b "The earliest unequivocally modern humans in southern China". 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.