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extinct hominin of the species Homo erectus, known from fossils found at Zhoukoudian near Beijing. Peking man was identified as a member of the human lineage by Davidson Black in 1927 on the basis of a single tooth. Later excavations yielded several skullcaps and mandibles, facial and limb bones, and the teeth of about 40 individuals. The Zhoukoudian fossils date from about 550,000 to 230,000 years ago. Before being assigned to H. erectus, they were variously classified as Pithecanthropus and Sinanthropus