Peking Man debate on CARM, message 1

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                                  Pekin Man

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Posted by Helen on June 20, 1998 at 00:13:43:

Jim Foley asked me, Were you suggesting that the Peking Man skulls were

Coming from me it would mean nothing. But evidently the first series of
skulls were considered to be monkeys by those who first saw them:

Grafton Elliot Smith visited the site in October of 1930. On his return to
England, he wrote an article in Antiquity 1931, March, vol. 5, no 17, pp
20-36. In the article was a photo of the Locus E skull (the only one that
had not been smashed in pieces, although it was only a brain case, and
lacked the jaw and face), and he noted "the surprisingly small brain
capacity [p34]. Again, he said the brain case displayed "in an even more
emphatic way the thickness of the skull and the diminutive size of the space
for the brain."

Teilhard, Breuil, and von Koenigswald all also commented on the small
cranium at different times.

Professor Boule was very angry that the only evidence he was shown for the
widely publicized find was a battered monkey's skull. He denounced Teilhard
and ridiculed the idea that the owners of the skulls would have been
responsible for the tools found nearby. In his book Fossil Men he considers
these skulls the remains of prey, as are the remains of the animal parts
found with them.

In fact, the only time the capacity of almost 1000 cc. is reported is when
Black measured a reconstruction of the skull, and Weidenreich's
remeasurement of the same reconstruction in 1943.

Dr. von Koenigswald later is quoted as saying, "We must be grateful to
Weidenreich for leaving such excellent descriptions of all the material.
Indeed, I believe that many people who have admired the splendid drawings
and photographs in his books would be disappointed if they saw the
originals." [Koenigswald, G.H.R. von 1956. Meeting Prehistoric Man, Thames
and Hudson.]

Evidently the reconstruction is not quite like the original....

The other skulls were found smashed to bits and reconstructed. It should be
noted they were also found with the remains of other edible animals and

Now, these were the Sinanthropus skulls. The only other related bones that
were found with those skulls and pieces of skulls were a few pieces of leg
bones which had been badly broken, two upper arm bones, a wristbone, and 147
teeth. (It should be noted that hundreds of tons of rock were blasted to
recover these.) So there was never any idea if the bodies that belonged to
these skulls even walked upright. Furthermore, the Sinanthropus bones were
well mixed with the animals bones throughout the 150 feet that were
excavated into the side of the hill and never showed any progression in
terms of evolution.

In the upper cave were the three H.sapien skulls. But it was the small
skulls that were found first and later "reconstructed" and then lost which
were the ones associated with the tools. And all the first observers seemed
to think they were monkeys.....

At any rate, all that are left are reconstructions. Not only have all the
fossils disappeared, presumably in the confusion of WWII, but the mysterious
ten claimed skeletons of Dec. 1929 also disappeared without a trace or a
word, and this long before WWII.

So I think we can consider the fact that yes, Sinanthropus was a monkey. And
evidently someone liked the taste of its brains......

My references for the above include but are not limited to Malcolm Bowden's
Ape-Men, Fact or Fallacy, Ian Taylor's In the Minds of Men, Lubenow's Bones
of Contention and the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

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