The Red Deer Cave People were the most recent known prehistoric archaic human population. Fossils dated to between 14,500 and 11,500 years old were found in Red Deer Cave and Longlin Cave in China. Having a mix of archaic and modern features, they are (tentatively) thought to be a separate species of humans that persisted until recent times and became extinct without contributing to the gene pool of modern humans.[1] Evidence shows large deer were cooked in the Red Deer Cave, giving the people their name.[2]

In 1979, the partial skull of a cave dweller was found in Longlin Cave in the Guangxi region of China. Additional human remains were excavated from Maludong (“Red Deer Cave”; Chinese: 马鹿洞) in Yunnan Province.[3] Fossils of the Red Deer Cave dwellers were indirectly radiocarbon dated between 14,500 and 11,500 years of age, using charcoal found in the fossil deposits.[3] It is thought that during this period all other prehistoric human species, including Neanderthals and Homo floresiensis had died out.


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