Category Archives: ASIA

An Ancient Site Found in UAE may be Sixth-Century Lost City of Tu’am

An Ancient Site Found in UAE may be Sixth-Century Lost City of Tu’am

Ruins from the sixth century have been discovered during excavations in the United Arab Emirates Umm Al Quwain region, which may be the remains of the lost city of Tu’am.

The discovery on Al Sinniyah Island is potentially one of the most significant archaeological finds in the Persian Gulf region. Located on Al Sinniyah Island, the island forms part of a group of small islands on the western side of the Khor Al Bidiyah peninsula.

It is thought the city was once the capital of a territory, on the Gulf coast of what is now the Emirates, and a pearl fishing center famed for the quality of its gems.

When Tu’am reached its zenith, in the sixth century, it was so well-known that old Arabic manuscripts mentioned it. After a plague and regional tensions, the city declined and faded from memory.

Under the direction of Sheikh Majid bin Saud Al Mualla, the Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology is excavating the site in cooperation with regional and global specialists.

The excavation team unearthed evidence of a sizable settlement that began in the fourth century CE and peaked in the fifth and sixth centuries.

The settlement was once an important coastal city.

Previous research on the island revealed a pearling village and monastery, which have been the focus of the latest excavations.

This year, archaeologists discovered the settlement’s large semi-urban tenement buildings, each about 30 square meters, and tightly packed around narrow alleyways. These buildings, indicating a sophisticated and densely populated city, suggest the presence of a stratified social structure and a thriving urban environment.

Professor Tim Power of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), who is leading the research, noted, “Our archaeological work has discovered by far the largest settlement ever found on the Gulf coast of the Emirates, aligning perfectly with the city described in early Islamic geographical sources. It’s a really important place. No one has ever found it.”

A jar popped out from the soil. Experts believe this may have been one of the tanner ovens or used for storage.

Archaeologists had previously believed that the settlement could have been a lay community serving the monks. However, it is believed that they have discovered something far more significant after four seasons of work at the location.

Professor Power explained that while they have not found definitive evidence, such as an inscription with the town’s name, the absence of other major settlements from this period on the coast strengthens the argument that this is Tu’am. “It’s a process of elimination,” he said.

Archaeologists have unearthed significant amounts of date wine jars, likely from Iraq, and fish bones, indicating a well-connected and diverse trade system. Findings also show the inhabitants were connected to wider trade networks that ran through Iraq, Persia, and India.

Experts examine the site of a mass burial in the monastery area of the site

The discovery also sheds light on the region’s pre-Islamic history. The town would have been called To’me in Aramaic, and Tu’am in Arabic, which means twins.

Over time, this name was transformed into Greek and English as Thomas, though the original meaning was lost. So it is thought the city was named after St Thomas, who was sent to the East to spread Christianity.

Lost World War II Sub Discovered in South China Sea

Lost World War II Sub Discovered in South China Sea

Lost World War II Sub Discovered in South China Sea
An octopus on the “conning” or command tower of the wreck of the American submarine USS Harder, which sank near the Philippines in 1944 after a battle with a Japanese destroyer.

Shipwreck hunters have discovered the remains of a famous American submarine that sank with 79 crew members on board while fighting a Japanese warship near the Philippines in 1944.

According to the New York-based Lost 52 Project, which made the discovery, the wreck of USS Harder now lies on its keel on the bottom of the South China Sea near the northern Philippine island of Luzon at a depth of around 3,750 feet (1,140 meters).

Naval reports of the sub’s final mission say the Harder — a Gato-class sub named after a type of fish (the harder mullet) and nicknamed the “Hit ‘Em Harder” — sank with all crew on Aug. 24, 1944 after it was heavily damaged by depth charges in a battle with a Japanese destroyer.

The Harder was one of the most famous American submarines of World War II. U.S. Navy records report that it torpedoed and sank five Japanese destroyers and several other enemy ships during six successful patrols in the Pacific war theater.

“This is one of the most celebrated WWII submarines and an historic naval discovery,” Tim Taylor, the founder of the Lost 52 Project, told Live Science in an email.

USS Harder—known as the “Hit ‘Em Harder”—sank several enemy warships and was one of the most famous American submarines during World War II.
The wreck lies upright on the seafloor at a depth of about 3,800 feet. It was found by studying reports of its final battle, and by searching suitable sites with sonar and autonomous underwater vehicles.

The “Lost 52 Project” that found the wreck aims to locate all 52 American submarines that went missing during World War II and four that sank during the Cold War.

War grave

Taylor is the CEO of a company called Tiburon Subsea, which uses autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) and other technologies to collect data at underwater sites. He also leads the Lost 52 Project, which aims to locate the wrecks of the 52 American submarines lost at sea during World War II and four lost during the Cold War. 

The group has already located the wrecks of eight vessels, making the wreck of USS Harder their ninth discovery, Taylor said. Each of the underwater wrecks is also a war grave for the crewmembers who died when it sank, and the missing crew of the Harder were remembered for their service when the wreck was found.

“We have a protocol that, when we locate a submarine, we memorialize the crew,” Taylor said. “We observe a minute of silence, ring the bell for every member of the crew and have a prayer service led by a deacon who is part of our expedition team.”

The team located the wreck by studying reports of its final battle and then searching suitable areas with shipboard sonar, which can reveal objects on the seafloor, and AUVs, which can go much deeper than human divers.

But even after they take steps to make the search patterns as efficient as possible, “It is a long and arduous process, like looking for a needle in a haystack,” Taylor said.

Sunken sub

The extreme depth of the wreck meant that AUV searches were essential, although a period of relatively good weather in recent weeks made the search easier. 

The Harder wreck is too deep to be visited by divers, and the U.S. Navy has designated the wreck as a protected site. “The wreck represents the final resting place of sailors that gave their life in defense of the nation and should be respected by all parties as a war grave,” the Navy said in a statement.

Taylor added that the AUV images show that the vessel appears to be in good condition. “The submarine is relatively intact, minus the damage done by the depth charges,” he said. 

And now, after 80 years under the waves, the wreck seems to be a thriving home for sea life, including an octopus that Taylor saw in the AUV images. 

“It is a protected gravesite for 79 US WWII sailors, but there is a lot of life on the submarine,” he said. “It’s quite extraordinary.”

8,000-Year-Old Pearl, Found In Abu Dhabi, Is World’s Oldest

8,000-Year-Old Pearl, Found In Abu Dhabi, Is World’s Oldest

An 8,000-year-old pearl that archaeologists say is the worlds oldest will be displayed in Abu Dhabi, according to authorities who said Sunday it is proof the objects have been traded since Neolithic times.

Dubbed the ‘Abu Dhabi Pearl’, it was found in layers carbon-dated to 5800-5600 BCE, during the Neolithic period.

This finding proves that pearls and oysters have been used in the UAE nearly 8,000 years ago and is the first confirmed evidence of pearling discovered anywhere in the world.

The small pearl was found on the floor of a room during excavations at Marawah Island

The Abu Dhabi Pearl, on loan from the Zayed National Museum collection, will feature in the special exhibition 10,000 Years of Luxury, taking place at Louvre Abu Dhabi from October 30, 2019, to February 18, 2020.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The Abu Dhabi Pearl is a stunning find, testimony to the ancient origins of our engagement with the sea.

The discovery of the oldest pearl in the world in Abu Dhabi makes it clear that so much of our recent economic and cultural history has deep roots that stretch back to the dawn of prehistory.

Marawah Island is one of our most valuable archaeological sites, and excavations continue in the hope of discovering even more evidence of how our ancestors lived, worked and thrived.”

Prior to the Abu Dhabi Pearl discovery, the earliest known pearl in the UAE was uncovered at a Neolithic site in Umm al-Quwain.

Ancient pearls from the same time have also been found at a Neolithic cemetery close to Jebel Buhais in the emirate of Sharjah. The carbon dating indicates that Abu Dhabi Pearl is older than both these discoveries.

Aside from the priceless Abu Dhabi Pearl, significant finds from the Marawah site have included an imported ceramic vase, beautifully worked flint arrowheads and shell and stone beads.

Numerous painted plaster vessel fragments were also discovered and represent the earliest known decorative art yet discovered in the UAE. At the beginning of 2020, a major new excavation will take place at the site to further uncover its secrets.

Experts have suggested that ancient pearls were possibly traded with Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) in exchange for highly-decorated ceramics and other goods. Pearls were also likely worn as jewellery by the local population, as indicated by the finds at Jebel Buhais in Sharjah.

The art of pearling required in-depth knowledge of pearl beds and their locations and expert seafaring skills.

Once these were mastered by the ancient inhabitants of Marawah, pearling was to remain a mainstay of the UAE’s economy for millennia.

The Venetian jewel merchant Gasparo Balbi, who travelled through the region, mentions the islands off the coast of Abu Dhabi as a source of pearls in the 16th century. The industry flourished until the 1930s.

2,700-year-old leather saddle found in woman’s tomb in China is oldest on record

2,700-year-old leather saddle found in woman’s tomb in China is oldest on record

The leather horse saddle from the tomb at Yanghai in northwest China is dated to roughly between 700 and 400 B.C. and may be the oldest ever found.

Archaeologists have unearthed an elaborate leather horse saddle — possibly the oldest ever found — from a grave in northwestern China, according to a new study. 

The saddle, preserved for up to 2,700 years in the arid desert, was discovered in the tomb of a woman at a cemetery in Yanghai, in the Turpan Basin of China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The woman was dressed in a hide coat, woolen pants and short leather boots, and had a “leather saddle placed on her buttocks as if she was seated on it,” according to the study, published Tuesday (May 23) in the journal Archaeological Research in Asia.

The saddle — two cowhide cushions filled with a mixture of straw and deer and camel hair — was made between 724 and 396 B.C., according to radiocarbon dating. It may predate saddles known from the Scythians — nomadic, warlike horse riders from the western and central Eurasian Steppe who interacted with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The earliest Sythian saddles seem to date from between the fifth and the third centuries B.C. and have been found in the Altai Mountains region of Russian Siberia and in eastern Kazakhstan.

The graveyard near Yanghai is in the Turpan Basin region, in the east of the Tian Shan mountains, which was occupied by the Subeixi people from about 3,000 years ago. 

“This places the Yanghai saddle at the beginning of the history of saddle making,” study lead author Patrick Wertmann, an archaeologist at the University of Zurich, told Live Science.

The tombs at Yanghai are thought to be from people of the Subeixi culture, who occupied the Turpan Basin from about 3,000 years ago. The culture is named after another graveyard of tombs near the modern town of Subeixi, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Yanghai. 

Horse herds

2,700-year-old leather saddle found in woman's tomb in China is oldest on record
The archaeologists also examined a saddle from another Subeixi graveyard in the region, which is thought to have been made at about the same time.

Archaeologists now think horses were domesticated as herd animals up to 6,000 years ago. But the earliest evidence suggests they were kept for their milk and meat; horse-riding may not have started until up to 1,000 years later.

The first riders used mats secured to the backs of horses with straps; carvings show Assyrian cavalrymen with such horse-gear in the seventh century B.C.

Archaeologists don’t know exactly when true saddles were invented, but they likely were developed by horse-riders in Central Asia about the mid-first millennium B.C., which would make the Yanghai saddle among the oldest, Wertmann said. 

The development of saddles began “when riders began to care more about comfort and safety, and also the health of the horses,” he told Live Science in an email. “Saddles helped people to ride longer distances, hence leading to more interaction between different peoples.”

The early Scythian saddles and the Yanghai saddle both have distinct supports, which help riders maintain a firm position and raise themselves in the saddle, such as when shooting an arrow. The first saddles also had no stirrups, Wertmann said.

Female riders

The saddle was found in the tomb of a woman from the pastoralist Subeixi culture; it was positioned so that she seemed to be riding the saddle.

The Subeixi had similar weaponry, horse gear and garments to the Scythians and may have had contact with them in the Altai Mountains region, the study authors wrote. But while the Scythians were nomads, the Subeixi horse-riders were likely pastoralists who looked after herds of animals within the Turpan Basin.

University of Zurich biomolecular archaeologist Shevan Wilkin, who was not involved in the study, told Live Science that the extraordinary level of preservation of the Yanghai saddle suggests other, potentially older saddles, may be found nearby.

“Usually for something organic that’s this old, like leather, then we wouldn’t have any remnants of it, or very little,” she said.

The seated position of the buried woman on the saddle suggests she was a rider. “This really shifts our ideas about who was riding horses,” Wilkin said.

Birgit Bühler, an archaeologist at the University of Vienna, who also wasn’t involved with the study, told Live Science in an email that the discovery in an ordinary tomb is “strong evidence for women participating in the day-to-day activities of mounted pastoralists, which included herding and travelling.”

The find contradicts traditionalist historical narratives associating horse-riding with warfare by elite men, she said.

Siberian Princess reveals her 2,500-year-old tattoos

Siberian Princess reveals her 2,500-year-old tattoos

The intricate patterns of 2,500-year-old tattoos – some from the body of a Siberian ‘princess’ preserved in the permafrost – have been revealed in Russia. 

The remarkable body art includes mythological creatures and experts say the elaborate drawings were a sign of age and status for the ancient nomadic Pazyryk people, described in the 5th century BC by the Greek historian Herodotus.

But scientist Natalia Polosmak – who discovered the remains of ice-clad ‘Princess Ukok’ high in the Altai Mountains – is also struck about how little has changed in more than two millennia.

The Body of Princess Ukok, who died aged 25, had several tattoos on her body, including a deer with a griffon’s beak and a Capricorn’s antlers. The tattoos have been perfectly preserved for 2,500 years.

‘I think we have not moved far from Pazyryks in how the tattoos are made,’ she told the Siberian Times ( ). ‘It is still about a craving to make yourself as beautiful as possible.”For example, about the British. 

‘A lot of them go on holiday to Greece, and when I’ve been there I heard how Greeks were smiling and saying that a British man’s age can be easily understood by the number of tattoos on his body.  ‘I’m talking about the working class now.  And I noticed it, too. 

‘The older a person, the more tattoos are on his body.’ Dr. Polosmak added: ‘We can say that most likely there was  – and is – one place on the body for everyone to start putting the tattoos on, and it was a left shoulder. 

Researchers also found two warriors close to the Princess , and were able to reconstruct their tattoos. Here, one is shown with an animal covering the right side of his body, across his right shoulder and stretching from his chest to his back.

‘I can assume so because all the mummies we found with just one tattoo had it on their left shoulders.’ And nowadays this is the same place where people try to put the tattoos on, thousands of years on. 

‘I think its linked to the body composition – as the left shoulder is the place where it is noticeable most, where it looks the most beautiful. ‘Nothing changes with years, the body stays the same, and the person making a tattoo now is getting closer to his ancestors than he or she may realise.

‘The tattoo patterns are from the ancient ‘princess’ who died at around the age of 25 – and from two warriors found on an ancient permafrost burial site at Ukok Plateau some 2,500 meters above sea level close to Russia’s frontiers with modern-day  Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan.

Princess Ukok’s hand with marked tattoos on her fingers. She was dug out of the ice 19 years ago, and is set to go on public display in the Altai Republic.

The reconstruction of the tattoos in the images shown here was released to coincide with the moving of the remains of the princess, dug out of the ice 19 years ago, to a permanent glass sarcophagus in the National Museum in Gorno-Altaisk, capital of the Altai Republic.  

Eventually, she will be displayed to tourists. Buried around her were six horses, saddled and bridled, her spiritual escorts to the next world, and a symbol of her evident status, though experts are divided on whether she was a royal or a revered folk tale narrator, a healer or a holy woman. 

Next to hear body was a meal of sheep and horse meat and ornaments made from felt, wood, bronze and gold.  And a small container of cannabis, say some accounts, along with a stone plate on which were the burned seeds of coriander. 

‘Tattoos were used as a mean of personal identification – like a passport now if you like,’ said Dr. Polosmak. ‘The Pazyryks also believed the tattoos would be helpful in another life, making it easy for the people of the same family and culture to find each other after death.  

The tattoos of one of two warriors found on the ancient permafrost burial site at Ukok Plateau some 2,500 meters above sea level close to Russia’s frontiers with modern-day Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan
Tattoos are clearly visible on one of the warrior’s shoulders. The designs are similar to those found on the Princess.

‘Pazyryks repeated the same images of animals in other types of art, which is considered to be like a language of animal images, which represented their thoughts.’ The tattoos were ‘used to express some thoughts and to define one’s position both in society and in the world. The more tattoos were on the body, the longer it meant the person lived, and the higher was his position. 

‘For example, the body of one man, which was found earlier in the 20th century, had his entire body covered with tattoos, as you see on the picture of his torso,’ said Dr. Polosmak. ‘Our young woman – the princess – has only her two arms tattooed. So they signified both age and status.’

The Ukok plateau, Altai, Siberi, where Princess Ukok and two warriors were discovered. Their bodies were surrounded by six horses fully bridles, various offering of food and a pouch of cannabis.

The Siberian Times said: “The tattoos on the left shoulder of the ‘princess’  show a mythological animal – a deer with a griffon’s beak and a Capricorn’s antlers. ‘The antlers are decorated with the heads of griffons. ‘And the same griffon’s head is shown on the back of the animal.

The mouth of a spotted panther with a long tail is seen at the legs of a sheep. ‘She also has a dear’s head on her wrist, with big antlers. ‘There is a drawing on the animal’s body on a thumb on her left hand.  ‘On the man found close to the ‘princess’, the tattoos include the same fantastical creature, this time covering the right side of his body, across his right shoulder and stretching from his chest to his back. 

‘The patterns mirror the tattoos on a much more elaborately covered male body dug from the ice in 1929 whose highly decorated torso in reconstructed in our drawing here. 

‘His chest, arms, part of the back and the lower leg are covered with tattoos. There is an argali – a mountain sheep – along with the same dear with griffon’s vulture-like beak, with horns and the back of its head which has griffon’s head and an onager, is drawn on it.’

1,800-Year-Old Tombs Excavated in Eastern China

1,800-Year-Old Tombs Excavated in Eastern China

An ancient family in eastern China constructed three underground tombs, filled them with treasure and laid their loved ones to rest. Century after century wore on the burials. Thieves broke in. Eventually, the site was forgotten.

But not anymore.

Archaeologists in Rizhao city dug up a partially damaged mound ahead of the expansion of a nearby park, the Institute of Archaeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in a May 11 news release shared via the China Archaeology Network.

Underneath, archaeologists found three tombs from the Han dynasty, a period that, according to Britannica, lasted from 206 B.C. to 220 A.D.

1,800-Year-Old Tombs Excavated in Eastern China
A view looking into the 1,800-year-old tomb known as M2, one of the robbed burials.

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The 1,800-year-old tombs were similar in style, with two burials in each and sloping tomb passageways to the entrances, the institute said. Inscriptions in two of the tombs had the same surname, Huan, indicating the complex likely belonged to a family.

Tomb M3 as seen before archaeologists removed its wooden cover.

Two of the ancient tombs had been robbed, archaeologists said. The wooden coffins were left in the graves but very few artifacts remained.

The third ancient tomb, however, was well-preserved and relatively untouched, the institute said. A photo shows this tomb, known as M3.

A view into the 1,800-year-old tomb M3.

The main burial chamber of the M3 tomb had two rooms connected with miniature windows and doors. A photo shows these unique wooden windows. Archaeologists said the residential style suggested the tomb contained a husband and wife.

A miniature wooden window found in the M3 tomb.

Archaeologists also found over 70 artifacts inside the tomb. Photos show some of these treasures, including an iron sword, bronze mirrors and stacks of several different types of pottery.

A rusty sword found in the 1,800-year-old tomb.

Around one of the wooden coffins, archaeologists uncovered the remains of a coffin carriage, a structure used to transport the coffin into the tomb, the institute said. They described it as exquisitely crafted and an uncommon find.

Several red pottery artifacts found at the ancient family’s tombs.

Archaeologists described the 1,800-year-old family tombs as a significant and important discovery. Finding the same last name inscribed in several tombs is rare, the institute said.

Some of the pottery artifacts found at the 1,800-year-old tomb complex.

The excavation in Rizhao started last December and ended in January. Rizhao, sometimes translated as Jihchao, is a city in Shandong province along the eastern coast of China, a roughly 400-mile drive southeast from Beijing.

Oldest Known Human Viruses Discovered In 50,000-Year-Old Neanderthal Remains

Researchers from the Federal University of São Paulo have managed to uncover the oldest known human viruses in a set of Neanderthal bones dating from over 50,000 years and they could soon recreate them.

Two Neanderthals had their DNA tested, and the results showed traces of the papillomavirus (a sexually transmitted virus) and the adenovirus (adenovirus, which causes cold sores), as well as other viruses.

The two prehistoric humans were male and their remains were found in a cave in Russia. Experts have long speculated that viruses may have caused the extinction of Neanderthals, and this most recent discovery could support that theory.

This suggests that Neanderthals may have been infected with the same viruses that affect humans today, according to the authors of a preprint that has not yet undergone peer review. It also shows that it was possible to identify portions of viral genomes in archaeological samples.

Adenoviruses, for example, can cause a wide range of illnesses from the pain in the butt that is the common cold, to a nasty bout of acute gastroenteritis. The overwhelmingly prevalent Epstein-Barr virus that can trigger mononucleosis and multiple sclerosis belongs to the herpesviruses. Papillomaviruses are perhaps best known for their association with cervical cancer.

The team who made the discovery now plan to try and synthesise the “Jurassic Park-like viruses” to see how they compare to modern ones.

“These Jurassic Park-like viruses could then be studied for their reproductive and pathogenic traits and compared to present-day counterparts,’ Marcelo Briones, the study’s lead author told NewScientist.

Neanderthal man reconstruction, Natural History Museum, London

“I am sceptical that this could be achieved given the lack of full understanding of how the viruses’ DNA is damaged and how to reconstruct the recovered pieces into a full viral genome,” he added. “’Also, the host-virus interaction, especially in a completely different environment, is something to consider.”

The remains were found in Russia’s Altai mountains in Siberia, in the Chagyrskaya cave. The remains were among a group of nine, found in 2022, who all shared DNA, meaning they were related.

Researchers were able to sequence genome data from the Neanderthals giving an astonishing glimpse into their DNA. They were able to ascertain that the viral traces in the remains did not get there from animals or modern humans contaminating them.

“Taken together, our data indicate that these viruses might represent viruses that really infected Neanderthals,” study author Marcelo Briones told New Scientist.

That is not to say that viruses alone could have led to the extinction of the Neanderthals—as the authors make clear in the paper—but it does lend support to the theory put forth by some scientists that viruses could have been involved in some way.

“To support their provocative and interesting hypothesis, it would be necessary to prove that at least the genomes of these viruses can be found in Neanderthal remains,” said Briones. “That is what we did.”

New Dates Obtained for Modern Human Remains in China

New Dates Obtained for Modern Human Remains in China

New Dates Obtained for Modern Human Remains in China
Frontal view of the Liujiang cranial and postcranial elements.

Some of China’s oldest Homo sapiens remains are about 10 times younger than previously thought. Skeletal remains of a modern human discovered in 1958 were found in southern China’s Liujiang District.

It was previously thought that the remains were up to 227,000 years old. It is thought modern humans began their trek out of Africa about 300,000 years ago.

Location of Tongtianyan cave (Liujiang) in Guangxi Province, southern China, together with the location of other key fossils of Homo sapiens in China.

Now a re-analysis of the bones published in Nature Communications has revised the estimate age of the Chinese remains to between 33,000 and 23,000 years ago.

“These revised age estimates align with dates from other human fossils in northern China, suggesting a geographically widespread presence of H. sapiens across Eastern Asia after 40,000 years ago,” says co-author Michael Petraglia, a professor at Australia’s Griffith University.

The team’s reassessment is based on radiocarbon and other techniques: optically stimulated luminescence, which measures how long it has been since sediments have been exposed to sunlight, and U-series dating which is another radiometric technique which uses uranium isotopes instead of carbon.

“This finding holds significant implications for understanding human dispersals and adaptations in the region,” says lead author Junyi Ge from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “It challenges previous interpretations and provides insights into the occupation history of China.”

Debate continues as to when modern humans made it out of Africa, where we evolved about 300,000 years ago, to East Asia.

Fossil teeth found in southern China’s Fuyan Cave are suggested to be 80,000–120,000 years old. Other finds support the idea that Homo sapiens have been in China for at least 40,000 years.

It is believed that modern humans arrived in Australia about 65,000 years ago.

Besides Homo sapiens, however, other ancient humans made it to East Asia much earlier.

Remains found near Beijing belonging to a Homo erectus individual known as “Peking Man” are between 230,000 and 780,000 years old. Other hominin finds in China are nearly 2 million years old.