Zhoukoudian is a small village situated about 50 km southwest of Beijing, where it is best known for a cave system. It has yielded many archaeological discoveries, including one of the first specimens of Homo erectus, dubbed Peking Man, and a fine assemblage of bones of the gigantic hyena Pachycrocuta brevirostris. Peking Man lived in this cave approximately 750,000 to 200,000 years ago.
The site is not only an exceptional reminder of the human societies of the Asian continent hundreds and thousands of years ago, but also illustrates that the process of hominization can only be fully apprehended on a world wide scale with the help of many such examples. Because the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian bears unique testimony to a civilization which has disappeared and bears witness to the human communities of the Asian continent from the Middle Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene (Palaeolithic Age), it was formally inscribed on the "World Heritage List" in December 1987 at the eleventh session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee. The inscription of the Peking Man Site on the World Heritage List confirms the exceptional and universal value of the cultural site which requires protection for the benefit of all humanity. The site is therefore not only of China, but also of the world as a whole.