For visitors to Beijing that have something of a scientific bent, one must-see attraction is that of the site where Peking Man, who in recent times has also been called the Beijing Man, was first discovered. This is a fossil uncovered in the 1920s of a well-preserved specimen of early man. It is thought to date as far back as 250,000 to 400,000 years, making it an extremely significant and important cultural find. In the 1940s, however, during China’s conflicts with Japan, the remains were to be sent to the United States for temporary safekeeping. They vanished en route, however, and have not been seen since. Visitors, however, still delight in the opportunity to speculate about what became of him.
The site of their excavation, however, remains a great natural wonder, and over the years, many other important fossils have been uncovered there. In 1987, the site was declared a Word Heritage Site by UNESCO, and has been carefully preserved since.
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