Nicknamed "Dragon Man," the specimen represents a human group that lived in East Asia at least 146,000 years ago.
It was found at Harbin, north-east China, in 1933 but only came to the attention of scientists more recently. An analysis of the skull has been published in the journal The Innovation.
The researchers say the discovery has the potential to rewrite the story of human evolution. Their analysis suggests that it is more closely related to Homo sapiens than it is to Neanderthals.
They have assigned the specimen to a new species: Homo longi, from the Chinese word "long," meaning dragon.
The scientists believe that Dragon Man was powerfully built and rugged. But, little is known about how he lived because the skull was removed from where it was found.
That means that there is currently no archaeological context, such as stone tools or other elements of culture.
Read the original story here.
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