The history of human evolution has been rewritten after scientists discovered that Europe was the birthplace of mankind, not Africa.
Currently, most experts believe that our human lineage split from apes around seven million years ago in central Africa, where hominids remained for the next five million years before venturing further afield.
In the early 1990s, the solidity of Asian origins was forever challenged. Already, in 1974, the vast tomb of China’s first emperor had been unearthed, featuring an entire army of terracotta soldiers individually carved and ornamented as if poised to follow the emperor into the afterlife. While the terracotta soldiers merely affirmed Chinese assumptions about their own origins, another discovery dating back to the first years of the 20th century, and eventually rediscovered nearly 100 years later, would prove damaging to the Chinese worldview.