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Xihoudu Site

Xihoudu Site is located near Xihoudu Village in Ruicheng County, Shanxi Province.

Xihoudu Site can be traced to the early Paleolithic Age of North China. Between 1961 and 1962, two excavations were carried out at the site and a number of cultural relics, such as stoneware, burnt bones, cut antlers and animal fossils, were discovered. According to scientific studies, the site dates back to 1.8 million years ago, the earliest site of Paleolithic Age in China.

Altogether there were 32 stone implements found at the site, including chopping, scraping and three-edged pointed tools. The tools were constructed using various flat stones, including quartzite, gangue and lava. Among the 20 animal fossils unearthed were fish and beaver fossils, which suggests the site contained a large body of water some 1.8 million years ago. Moreover, most of the mammal fossils were those of grassland animals, indicating that Xihoudu once also had large grassland areas.

The discovery of the Xihoudu Culture places the Chinese Paleolithic Age in an earlier period, including the history of fire used by human beings. 

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