The Java Man – Homo Erectus Javanicus

Eugène Dubois, a Dutch army doctor, found 1891 a prehistorical skull remain in Trinil in Java. First he considered it coming from a prehistoric big gibbon monkey and called the species Anthropopithecus (what was the latin generic name for chimpanzee); later it was recalled Pithecanthropus erectus or Homo erectus javanicus. His foundings are considered being 1 million years old.
Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald, a German/Dutch geologist and paleontologist, found in the years 1936-39 more early human remains in Sangiran, at the banks of the Solo River in Java, 65 km of Trinil. Sangiran is not far from Solo (Suryakarta); it’s an easy bus trip to go there.

Until 2011 there were more than 80 fossils of homo erectus found in Sangiran. They cover a timespan of about 1.2 million years, of who the oldest are dated back up to 1,5 million years. Sangiran is therefore the richest foundig place for human fossils on earth. The Sangiran homo erectus fossils show significant differences to the younger ones found near Beijing (Beijing Man). It’s supposed, that both populations came in different immigration waves from Africa.
About half of all the known ever found hominid fossils were discovered in Sangiran. Beside that stone tools, bone tool, axes and a number of other tools were found in Sangiran. The site was inhabited for the last 1,5 million years and shows a long line of continuous human evolution. The fossils found here document also the evolution of human culture, the evolution of local animals and the ancient environment. That all makes it a key site in the understanding of human evolution generally. Therefore it became the status of a UNESCO World Heritage.


This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘The Java Man’. Read here the whole article on The Java Man.

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