PMU M3550

Zhoukoudian Locality 1
39.68, 115.92
Date min:
500,000 Bp
Date max:
600,000 Bp
Homo, Homo erectus pekinensis, Homo erectus
Time periods:
Chibanian, Pleistocene

PMU M3550 is an isolated right upper molar (M3). It is the first-ever Homo erectus pekinensis specimen found. It was recovered by Zdansky in Zhoukoudian Locality 1 in 1921. This specimen, together with a second tooth recovered from Zdansky’s laboratory later on and two more teeth discovered at a later date from the Zhoukoudian collections are the earliest collected Homo erectus pekinensis samples from the Zhoukoudian deposits. All four teeth are currently housed in the Museum of Evolution at Uppsala University in Sweden. These four teeth are among the most treasured finds in palaeoanthropology, not only because of their scientific value but also for their historical and cultural significance [1][2][3][4][5].


PMU M3550, an isolated right upper molar (M3) is the first Homo erectus pekinensis ever found. It was discovered in Zhoukoudian Locality 1, locus A, layer 5 by palaeontologist Otto Karl Josef Zdansky. There have been discrepancies in literature as to the exact date of the discovery but various accounts agree that Zdansky found the first tooth during the 1921 summer excavation. A second tooth was also uncovered from his Zhoukoudian collections in the laboratory later on. However, these finds were not announced until a symposium in 1926 [6][2]. Zdansky initially classified the tooth as that of a Homo sp. It was later on reclassified as Sinanthropus pekinensis and eventually as Homo erectus pekinensis [1][7][8]. PMU M3550, an original worn upper M3, belongs to the individual A2 (Locus A, Individual 2) an adult [9][10].


Cited References

  1. 1.

    Preliminary Notice on Two Teeth of a Hominid from a Cave in Chihli (China)

    Bulletin of the Geological Society of China 5(3-4)

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This page was last edited on October 29, 2022 at 24:09:35 UTC