Dr Curnoe has researched the Late Pleistocene human fossil and archaeological records of Yunnan Province for over a decade in collaboration with Prof. Ji Xueping of the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology in Kunming.

He is also working with Dr Xuefeng Sun at Nanjing University to study the timing of human settlement and other events in the prehistory of southern China.

Among the more interesting discoveries made in Yunnan is the so-called ‘red deer cave people’. These enigmatic human remains from the sites of Maludong and Longlin are unusual in exhibiting a combination of modern and archaic human traits and continue to defy easy explanation.

The image below compares the most complete Maludong cranium (MLDG 1704) with the Longlin cranium (LL 1) and a Neolithic cranium from Yuanmou (Yunnan).