Nihewan in Yangyuan
The Nihewan site is located in the east of Yangyuan County of Hebei Province and on the north bank of Sanggan River, within the territory of Shixiali Township; it is the world’s representative site calibrated as the Quaternary strata. Its research value can match the world recognized place of human origin - the East African Gorge Olduvai and is universally accepted by Chinese and foreign geological and paleontological workers, becoming a standard profile for stratum comparison in China and other continents. The standard Nihewan strata show the evolution history of the earth and biology and human beings from the late Tertiary Period to the Quaternary Period, obtaining great concern from Chinese and foreign geological, paleontological, paleoanthropological, and prehistoric archaeological experts.
From August 1995 to September 1998, on the basis of past excavation, Hebei Cultural Relics Research Institute cooperated with the Archaeology Department of Beijing University in excavation, and in the Yujiagou site, they discovered the stratigraphic and cultural profiles from the late Pleistocene to the mid Holocene that are extremely rare in North China. This excavation was elected "Top 10 new archaeological discoveries in China" in 1998. It is one of the places of origin of ancient humans and is a huge scientific treasure house and world cultural heritage that await in-depth research, development and utilization. In October 2001, in the Majuangou site in Nihewan, the earliest site with the lowest horizon was found; hundreds of excavated stone artifacts and animal bones showed that the Paleolithic era of the Nihewan basin was earlier by hundreds of thousands of years, about 2 million years ago.
The Nihewan site takes an important position and has significant value in prehistoric culture; in March 2001, it was on the list of “Top 100 archaeological discoveries in China in the 20th century”, and was included in the major historic and cultural sites under state protection by the State Council. In early 2002, the Nihewan geological site was promoted to a national nature reserve.