Man began to populate the Korean peninsula some 700,000 years ago. The tools made by the people of the time were excavated from the caves in which they dwelled. During this period of the Ice Age and the Interglacial Age, there was a time when Korea was linked with China and Japan by land. Since people of the times migrated while gathering and hunting for food, it is not clear whether these inhabitants were actually the ethnic ancestors of the Korean people.
The world at the time
Geumgul cave in Danyang and the Evolution of Mankind
Many artifacts used more than 700,000 years ago including choppers and hand exes were unearthed in the Geumgul archaeological site in Danyang, North Chungcheong Province. Inhabitants of the period were Homo erectus. Considering the fact that traces of man over 1.8 million years old were unearthed in China, it may be surmised that human beings have dwelled on the Korean peninsula sine 700,000 years ago. It was some 30,000 to 40,000 years ago that Homo sapiens, believed to be the direct ancestors of mankind of today, first appeared on Earth. Recently, human bones from this period were excavated in North Korea.
Hand axe unearthed in the Geumgul archaeological site in Danyang, North Chungcheong Province