An international study has found that the Chinese people originated not from Peking Man in northern China, but from early humans in East Africa who moved through South Asia to China some 100,000 years ago, Hong Kongs Ming Pao daily reported yesterday in a finding that confirms the single origin theory in anthropology.
According to the newspaper, a research team led by Jin Li (of Fudan University in Shanghai has found that modern humans evolved from a single origin, not multiple origins as some experts believe.
In China, school textbooks teach that the Chinese race evolved from Peking Man, based on a theory that humans in Europe and Asia evolved from local species.
But Jin and his fellow researchers found that early humans belonged to different species, of which only the East African species developed into modern humans.
This new finding nullifies the theory that the ancestors of the Chinese people were Peking Man who lived in northern China 400,000 years ago.
Based on DNA analyses of 100,000 samples gathered from around the world, a number of human families evolved in East Africa some 150,000 years ago, said Li Hui, a member of Jins team.
About 100,000 years ago, some of those humans began to leave Africa, with some people moving to China via South and Southeast Asia, Li said.
According to the newspaper article, it has been proven that the 65 branches of the Chinese race share similar DNA mutations with the peoples of East and Southeast Asia.
It said that the Shanghai scientists were part of an international team comprised of researchers from Russia, India, Brazil and other nations in a five-year project studying the geographic and genealogical routes related to the spread and settlement of modern humans.
In honor of the Little Black People
The Saisiyat tribe of Hsinchu and Miaoli will perform a solemn rite this weekend to commemorate a race of people that they exterminated
By Jules Quartly, taipeitimes.com
November 27, 2004
Drinking, singing and dancing are expected to take place deep in the mountains of Miaoli and Hsinchu when the “Ritual of the Little Black People” is performed by the Saisiyat tribe once again this weekend.
For the past 100 years or so, the Saisiyat tribe has performed the songs and rites of the festival to bring good harvests, ward off bad luck and keep alive the spirit of a race of people who are said to have preceded all others in Taiwan.
In fact, the short, black men the festival celebrates are one of the most ancient types of modern humans on this planet and their kin still survive in Asia today. They are said to be diminutive Africoids and are variously called Pygmies, Negritos and Aeta. They are found in the Philippines, northern Malaysia, Thailand, Sumatra in Indonesia and other places.
Chinese historians called them “black dwarfs” in the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220 to AD 280) and they were still to be found in China during the Qing dynasty (1644 to 1911). In Taiwan they were called the “Little Black People” and, apart from being diminutive, they were also said to be broad-nosed and dark-skinned with curly hair.