Adult Programs | Lectures

Rediscovering Peking Man: New Discoveries & the Canadian Connection

International team excavating at Zhoukoudian site 1930s (Discovering Peking Man)

Free. Included with Museum Admission. RSVP Required.

Learn about the history and hear about the latest discoveries about the famed Peking Man.

First discovered in 1923, Peking Man or Homo erectus pekinensis was a world-wide sensation as the long sought after "missing link". Peking Man shot to further fame when, in 1941, five invaluable Peking Man fossils went missing at the height of the Second World War. Most people don't know that there was also a significant Canadian connection to Peking Man. Dr. Davidson Black, a Canadian palaeoanthropologist was the Head of Anatomy at Peking Medical College and it was he who identified the fossil as belonging to a new species and genus and it was he who named this new genus Sinanthropus pekinensis (now Homo erectus pekinensis or "Peking Man")

Today, over 80 years later, there have been new discoveries and advances in science and the role of Peking Man in human evolution has been re-evaluated. The search for man's origins is ongoing and the mysteries of Peking Man remain hotly debated and researched. To that end, the Canadian connection to Peking Man also continues as the ROM's Dr. Chen Shen has been involved in new excavations at Zhoukoudian, the site of the Peking Man discovery. On Dec. 16 the ROM is proud to present the rare opportunity to hear from Dr. Shen and the team of Chinese scientists involved in the re-excavation of the Zhoukoudian site.


Dr. Chen Shen: Peking Man: The Toronto Connection
Vice President, Senior Curator, Bishop White Chair of East Asian Archaeology, Royal Ontario Museum

Dr. Xing Gao: Debates on Fires: Do we have Evidence that Peking Man Made and Used Fire?
Deputy Director Research, Institute of Vertebrate Palaeoontology and Palaeoanthropology (IVPP) Chinese Academy of Sciences,  Director of the Zhoukoudian Peking Man project.

Dr. Xiaoling Zhang: Use-Wear on Tools: how do we know what tools Peking Man made and used?
Associate Professor, IVPP, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Yue Zhang: Excavating & Re-excavating the Peking Man Site: What Difference does it Make?
Associate Professor, IVPP, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Shuangquan Zhang: Exhibiting the Peking Man and Preserving for the Future
Associate Professor, IVPP, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

RPC/YPC pre-lecture VIP Tea
1:00 - 2:00 pm
Exclusive to RPC and YPC Members. For details and to RSVP contact Mischa Mueller at or 416.586.5556. Your RSVP includes admittance to the VIP, and reserved seating at the lecture.







Royal Ontario Museum
Bronfman Hall
Level 2

Bloor Street (main entrance)