Dragon Bones: The Mystery of the Peking Man
The moment Andersson gave Black the ancient teeth, he immediately launched a full-scale investigation. After close examination, Black was surprised to find that the teeth were evidence that supported his theory of
The profound discovery sent shock waves through the scientific community and led to a systematic survey of Chou Kou Tien in the summer of 1927. According to van Oosterzee it was the largest excavation ever undertaken in search of human ancestry. The archeological investigation conducted by scientists and manual workers would continue for 14 years, producing astonishing results.
For more than 100 years, most foreign archeologists digging in
Black was appointed the primary coordinator of the excavation whose job was to direct the dig, obtain funds for the vast project and examine any fossilized human remains that might be uncovered. He named the prominent Chinese geologist Dr. V. K. Ting as the projects honorary director. Ting and Black appointed Swedish paleontologist Birgir Bohlin and Chinese geologist C. Li as general directors overseeing the excavation site.
By the fall, those working at the site unearthed a mass of fossilized animals representing various species. Even though the artifacts were significant, it wasnt the evidence they needed to secure more funding for the project. The pressure to find hominid fossils was increasing, especially since the excavation was scheduled to soon end for the season. However, just three days before work was to stop another big discovery was made.
Bohlin found a human-like molar, similar to those found earlier and presented it to an exuberant Davidson Black. After examining the tooth, Black concluded that it was several million years old and had likely come from a new and separate genus of man. He gave the fossilized man the Latin name Sinanthropus pekinensis, literally meaning, Chinese man from
Black designed a special locket for the tooth and carried it with him around his neck. Several months later he took it to