The Tokchon Sungnisan Archaeological Remains are in a cave at the foot of Mt. Sungni in Tokchon City of South Phyongan Province, where fossil bones of Paleolithic and Neolithic men were discovered for the first time in Korea. They were unearthed in the first half of the 1970s.
Dug out in the cave were fossil human and animal bones in the Old Stone Age and ancient house sites and tomb.
The cave is 7.5 metres high and about 7 metres wide at the mouth and 62.2 metres deep. Lots of fossil human and animal bones were found in the section of 14 to 40 metres from the mouth.
According to an examination, there were three layers representing different ages. The lowest layer belongs to the middle term of the Old Stone Age and the middle one to the latter term. The highest layer is that of weathered lime gravel.
Dr. Kim Song Il, Researcher of the Archaeological Institute under the Academy of Social Sciences, says:
"What is specially noteworthy in the archaeological remains is the fossil bones of Paleolithic and Neolithic men belonging to the middle and latter terms of the Old Stone Age found in the lowest and middle layers. Discovered in the lowest layer were two fossil teeth and a bladebone of Paleolithic man called 'Tokchon Man'. A lower jawbone was found in the middle layer, which is fossil bone of Neolithic man called 'Sungnisan Man'.
The lower jawbone of 'Sungnisan Man' has not only clear features of Neolithic man but also many primitive characteristics reminiscent of Paleolithic man. It proves that 'Sungnisan Man' was a Neolithic man in the early stage close to Paleolithic man. 'Sungnisan Man', however, shows features peculiar to modern Koreans such as wide and short lower jawbone."
Fossil teeth of "Tokchon Man"
Fossil lower jawbone of "Sungnisan Man"
and his restored sculpture
A cultural layer of the Bronze Age was revealed in the sedimentary layer belonging to a geological age different from the above-said ones near the cave mouth. Unearthed there were house sites, tomb and other remains.
The systematic discovery of fossil bones of Paleolithic and Neolithic men and the fossil human bones of the Bronze Age proves that the ape-man, who left the Komunmoru Archaeological Remains in the former term of the Old Stone Age, developed into "Tokchon Man", Paleolithic man of the middle term, and then into "Sungnisan Man", Neolithic man of the latter term, to evolve up to the modern times.
The Tokchon Sungnisan Archaeological Remains are of special significance not only in identifying the origin of the Korean people but also in studying the history of human evolution and primitive society.