Java Man

Java Man
Illustration of Java Man skull

Java Man (Homo erectus erectus) is the name given to fossils discovered in 1891 at Trinil - Ngawi Regency on the banks of the Solo River in East Java, Indonesia, one of the first known specimens of Homo erectus. Its discoverer, Eugène Dubois, gave it the scientific name Pithecanthropus erectus, a name derived from Greek and Latin roots meaning upright ape-man.


History and significance


Dubois' find was a very incomplete specimen, consisting of a skullcap, a femur, and a few teeth. There is some dissent as to whether all these bones represent the same species.[1] A second, more complete specimen was later discovered in the village of Sangiran, Central Java, 18 km to the north of Solo. This find, a skullcap of similar size to that found by Dubois, was discovered by Berlin-born paleontologist GHR von Koenigswald in 1936. Many more finds have subsequently been made at the Sangiran site,[2] although official reports remain critical of the site's "poor" presentation and interpretation.[3]

Original fossils of Pithecanthropus erectus (now Homo erectus) found in Java in 1891

The new date of the Mojokerto child, Dr. Swisher's group [of the Institute of Human Origins in Berkeley] has determined, is about 1.81 million years, and the Sangiran fossils are about 1.66 million years old. The oldest African Homo erectus fossils, found at Koobi Fora in Kenya, has been dated at about the same age as the Mojokerto child.[4]

Until older human remains were discovered in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Dubois' and Koenigswald's discoveries were the oldest hominid remains ever found. Some scientists of the day suggested[5] Dubois' Java Man as a potential intermediate form between modern humans and the common ancestor we share with the other great apes. The current consensus of anthropologists is that the direct ancestors of modern humans were African populations of Homo erectus (possibly Homo ergaster), rather than the Asian populations exemplified by Java Man and Peking Man.

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Java man — n. a type of early human (Homo erectus erectus) known from fossil remains found in Java and thought to be from the Lower Pleistocene: see SOLO MAN …   English World dictionary

  • Java man — the fossil remains of Homo erectus found in Java. [1930 35] * * * Common name of fossilized Homo erectus remains found in 1891 at Trinil, Java. The remains, a skullcap and thighbone, represent the first known fossils of H. erectus (though… …   Universalium

  • Java man — Pithecanthropus Pith e*can*thro pus (p[i^]th [ e]*k[a^]n*thr[=o] p[u^]s), prop. n. [NL.; Gr. pi qhkos ape + a nqrwpos man.] 1. A hypothetical genus of primates intermediate between man and the anthropoid apes. Haeckel. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 2. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Java man — n. a prehistoric type of man whose remains were found in Java. Etymology: Java in Indonesia …   Useful english dictionary

  • Java man — Ja′va man n. pan the fossil remains of a form of Homo erectus found in Java • Etymology: 1930–35 …   From formal English to slang

  • Java man — noun Date: 1911 a Pleistocene hominid known from fragmentary skeletons found in Trinil and Djetis, Java, and classified with the direct ancestor (Homo erectus) of modern humans …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Java man — /ˈdʒavə mæn/ (say jahvuh man) noun → Pithecanthropus. Also, Trinil man …   Australian English dictionary

  • Java man — noun A purported species of primate, a supposed ancient descendant of human beings, given the scientific name Pithecanthropus erectus …   Wiktionary

  • Java (disambiguation) — Java most commonly refers to: * Java, an island in Indonesia and the most populous island in the world * Java (Sun), a technology developed by Sun Microsystems for machine independent software * JAVA, Sun Microsystems stock symbolJava may also… …   Wikipedia

  • Man — /man/, n. Isle of, an island of the British Isles, in the Irish Sea. 58,773; 227 sq. mi. (588 sq. km). Cap.: Douglas. * * * (as used in expressions) Mountain Man 2002– Man Booker Prize de Man Paul Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the… …   Universalium

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