Research NewsHuman Origins

Homo erectus in Java: A 250,000-Year Anachronism

Science  13 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5294, pp. 1841-1842
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5294.1841


An interdisciplinary team of scientists reports on page 1870 that H. erectus may have been alive in Java, Indonesia, as recently as 27,000 to 53,000 years ago—at least 250,000 years after this early hominid was thought to have gone extinct in Asia. This startling suggestion comes from redating of two key fossil sites. If the dates are correct, this remnant population of H. erectus would have been alive when modern humans and Neandertals roamed the Earth.