Nanjing Man

Nanjing Man
Temporal range: Pleistocene
Skull of Nanjingren.JPG
Scientific classification e
H. e. nankinensis
Trinomial name
Homo erectus nankinensis

Nanjing Man (Homo erectus nankinensis) is a subspecies of Homo erectus found in China. Large fragments of one male and one female skull and a molar tooth of H. e. nankinensis were discovered in 1993 in the Hulu cave on the Tangshan hills near Nanjing, the former capital city of China. The term Nanjing man is used to describe the subspecies of Homo erectus but is also used when referring to the three fossils. The specimens were found in the Hulu limestone cave at a depth of 60–97 cm by Liu Luhong, a local worker.[1] Dating the fossils yielded an estimated age of 580,000 to 620,000 years old.[2]

Age determination

For the dating of fossils the carbon-14 method is often used, but this method is not applicable for fossils older than 60.000 years, which is the case for the Nanjing man. Researchers used mass spectrometric U-series dating to identify the age of the skulls. Best estimates date the skull to be at least 580,000 years old. This research, done in 2001 estimates the age of the skulls to be 270,000 years older than previous estimates, executed with the use of different dating methods like Electron spin resonance dating and alpha-counting U-series. However, by using mass spectrometric U-series dating, the age for the tooth found on the Nanjing site was estimated to be only 400,000 years old. Researchers propose that the enamel used to date the tooth may not have the same uranium uptake as the skulls, leading to the discrepancy in estimated age.[2] Another study from 1999 estimated one skull to be at least 500,000 years old, while they date the other skull being between 250,000 and 500,000 years old using the TIMS dating method.[3]

Other Languages
한국어: 난징 원인
Nederlands: Nanjingmens
português: Homem de Nanquim
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Nankinški čovjek
Tagalog: Taong Nanjing
українська: Homo erectus nankinensis