The University of Arizona

The 4000-Year-Old "Longshan Giant" Discovered in Shaanxi Province, China

Yachang Yang, Yizhi Zhu


A human skeleton of phenomenal size was uncovered during the excavation of a prehistoric site located in the city of Shangnan, Shaanxi province, China, in 2006. The skeleton dates to 4240-4100 cal yr BP, corresponding to the Longshan culture (4400-4000 yr ago). The skeletal characteristics point to a young male 16-18 yr old with a height of 193 cm. This is the tallest skeleton ever discovered in prehistoric China, and thus we name him the "Longshan Giant." The giant appears to be of the Mongoloid race and has many physical characteristics that are similar to those of modern southern Asians. Upon closer examination, 3 drilled holes of 5 cm in diameter were found in the right parietal bone of the skull. No rationale exists yet to explain the presence of these holes.

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