An almost complete human skull dating back 80,000 to 100,000 years was unearthed in central China, state media reported on Wednesday.
The skull, consisting of 16 pieces, was dug out last month after two years of excavation at a site in Xuchang in Henan province, the China Daily said.
The pieces were fossilised because they were buried near the mouth of a spring whose water had a high calcium content, the China Daily said.
It is rare to find a nearly complete skull of that age.
Besides the skull, more than 30,000 animal fossils and stone and bone artefacts were found in the past two years in an area of 260 square metres (2,800 square feet).
The oldest human fossil found in China so far was a tooth unearthed in 1965 in Yuanmou county in the south-western province of Yunnan that dated back 1.7 million years, said Wu Xinzhi, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.