Chengjiang Fossil

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A worker from the Chengjiang Fossil Site Museum shows a fossil sample.

The Chengjiang Fossil (澄江化石) site is located in Chengjiang County of southwest China's Yunnan Province. It has recently been included on the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

The inscription was approved during the 36th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in St. Petersburg, Russia, on July 1, 2012. It is the first time that a Chinese fossil site has been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The Chengjiang Fossil site covers about 90 square km, with a burial depth in excess of 50 meters. Discovered in 1984, the site contains the decedents of more than 200 marine species, all of which date back 530 million years. As a result, the site is regarded as one of the 20th century's most amazing discoveries of prehistoric life.

The Chenjiang Fossil site also provides an invaluable insight into the marine life and ecological system of the Cambrian period.

So far, 43 sites in China have been recorded on the UNESCO World Heritage List.