Java man


Java man
the fossil remains of Homo erectus found in Java.
[1930-35]

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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 originally assigned to Pithecanthropus erectus) and, together with numerous other finds along the Solo River, suggest that H. erectus was present in eastern Asia some 1,000,000 years ago and persisted there for at least 500,000 years and possibly as long as 800,000 years. Java man predates the finds at Zhoukoudian (Peking Man) in China and is considered somewhat more primitive.

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▪ extinct hominid
      extinct hominin (member of the human lineage) known from fossil remains found on the island of Java, Indonesia. A skullcap and thighbone discovered by the Dutch anatomist and geologist Eugène Dubois (Dubois, Eugène) in the early 1890s were the first known fossils of the species Homo erectus.

      Dubois traveled to Southeast Asia with the hope of finding an ancestor of modern man. After searching for fossils on the island of Sumatra, he moved to Java in 1890. With the help of two army sergeants and a number of convict labourers, he began work in August 1891 along the Solo River at Trinil. The skullcap appeared in October, and the femur was recovered later from the same pit. With the partial cranium as evidence for a small brain and the modern-looking femur as an indication of upright posture, Dubois was able to argue that he had found a creature intermediate in its evolutionary position between apes and humans. Dubois originally classified his find as Pithecanthropus erectus.

      Java man was characterized by a cranial capacity averaging 900 cubic cm (smaller than those of later specimens of H. erectus), a skull flat in profile with little forehead, a crest along the top of the head for attachment of powerful jaw muscles, very thick skull bones, heavy browridges, and a massive jaw with no chin. The teeth are essentially human though with some apelike features, such as large, partly overlapping canines. Thighbones show that Java man walked fully erect, like modern man, and attained a height of about 170 cm (5 feet 8 inches). Other fossils were later found at Sangiran and Modjokerto. The Modjokerto infant (about five years old at death) was found in 1936 and has a skull with large browridges and a retreating forehead.

      Java man predates Peking man and is usually considered somewhat more primitive. H. erectus is thought to have occupied Java from about 1,000,000 to 500,000 years ago. However, radiometric dates obtained for volcanic minerals at Sangiran indicate that some Javan fossils may be substantially older, perhaps approaching 1,500,000 years in age.

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Universalium. 2010.

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 — Pithecanthropus erectus redirects here. For the song and album by that title, see Pithecanthropus Erectus (album). Illustration of Java Man skull Java Man (Homo erectus erectus) is the name given to fossils discovered in 1891 at Trinil Ngawi… …   Wikipedia

  • 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

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