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February 14, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(7):540-541. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720330060021

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The Most Significant Relic of Primitive Man  At University College, Prof. G. Elliot Smith gave a lecture on the Peking man, with the Chinese minister presiding. He described the cranium found in the limestone cave near Peiping, Dec. 2, 1929, as the most significant and illuminating relic of primitive man ever recovered. Its characters established a bond of union between the other two types of early man comparable in age, Pithecanthropus of Java and Eoanthropus of Piltdown, England), which before this discovery seemed to be irreconcilable with each other and were both regarded with doubt. The finding of Sinanthropus was important not only for the intrinsic evidence it provided but also because it conferred respectability on the other two. The investigations in China had established confidence in the other two genera and destroyed doubts regarding their nature and significance. The evidence of the geological age of the Peking man—the early

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