Human Evolution

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 81–101 | Cite as

Meganthropus” cranial fossils from Java

  • Tyler D. E. 
Article

Abstract

There are now twelve significant hominid cranial fossils from the Lower and Middle Pleistocene of Java, all but two being from the Sangiran site. Most of this material is well-known in the literature, but three skulls, possibly representing “Meganthropus” are here described in detail for the first time. Most scholars have assigned them all toHomo erectus, while others have suggested that they represent as many as four different hominoid taxa. The author argues that they represent two possible species of hominids. “Meganthropus” I, II, and III are more massive than any of the knownH. erectus specimens. They are also relatively higher vaulted, apparently smaller brained, and have unusually thick lower occipital planes. “Meganthropus” may represent a species that separated fromH. erectus upon its arrival to Java.

Keywords

Meganthropus” Homo erectus Java Southeast Asia 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bar-Yosef O (1994).The Lower Paleolithic of the Near East. Journal of World Prehistory, 8, 211–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brauer G & M Schultz (1996).The morphological affinities of the Plio-Pleistocene mandible from Dmanisi, Georgia. Journal of Human Evolution 30, 445–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown WL (1958).Some zoological concepts applied to problems in evolution of the hominid lineage. Am. Sci. 48, 151–158.Google Scholar
  4. Coon CS (1962).The Origin of Races. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  5. Curtis GH (1981).Man's immediate forerunners” Establishing a relevant time scale in anthropological and archaeological research. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, Series B, 292, 7–20.Google Scholar
  6. Dennell RW, Rendell HM, Hurcombe L, & Hailwood EA (1994).Archaeological evidence for hominids in Pakistan before one million years ago. Courier Forschuns-Institute Senckenberg 171, 151–155.Google Scholar
  7. De Vos J (1985).Faunal stratigraphy and correlation of the Indonesian hominid sites. In (E Delson, Ed.) Ancestors: The Hard Evidence, pp. 215–220. New York: Liss.Google Scholar
  8. De Vos J (1995).The migration of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens in Southeast Asia and the Indonesian Archipelago. In (J Bower and S. Sartono (Eds.) Evolution and Ecology of Homo erectus. Leiden University, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  9. Feibel CS, Brown FH & Mc Dougall I (1989).Stratigraphic context of hominids from the Omo Group deposits: Northern Turkana Basin, Kenya and Ethiopia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 78, 595–622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Franzen JL (1985a).Asian australopithecines? In (P.V. Tobias, Ed.). Hominid Evolution: Past, Present, and Future, pp. 255–263. New York: Liss.Google Scholar
  11. Franzen JL (1985b).What is “Pithecanthropus dubius von Koenigswald 1950”? In (E Delson, Ed.) Ancestors: The Hard Evidence, pp. 221–226. New York: Liss.Google Scholar
  12. Huang WR, Ciochon R & Yumin G (1995).Early Homo and associated artefacts from Asia. Nature 378, 275–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jacob T (1973).Paleoanthropological discoveries in Indonesia with special reference to finds of the last two decades. J. Hum. Evol. 2, 473–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jacob T (1980). “Pithecanthropus” of Indonesia: The phenotype, genetics, and ecology. In (LK Kongisoon, Ed.) Current Arguments on Early Man, Proceedings of a Nobel Symposium, 41 Kariskoga, Sweden, May, 1978.Google Scholar
  15. Koenigswald von GHR (1954).“Pithecanthropus,” “Meganthropus,” and the australopithecinae. Nature 173, 795–797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koenigswald von GHR (1960).Meganthropus palaeojavanicus v.K. a new fossil hominid from Java. Cong. Int. Anthrop. Ethnol. Bruzelles, 1948, 271–272.Google Scholar
  17. Kramer A (1989).The Evolutionary and Taxonomic Affinities of the Sangiran Mandibles of Central Java, Indonesia. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  18. Kramer A & LW Konigsberg (1994)The phyletic position of Sangiran 6 as determined by multivariate analyses. Courier Forschungs-institut Senckenberg 171. 105–114.Google Scholar
  19. Krantz GS (1975).An explanation for the diastema of Java erectus skull IV. In (RH Tuttle, Ed.) Paleonathropology, Morphology, and Paleoecology, pp. 361–372. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  20. Krantz GS (1981).The Process of Human Evolution. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  21. Krantz GS (1994). The palate of skull Sangiran 4 from Java. In (JL Franzen, Ed.)100 Years of Pithecanthropus: The Homo erectus Problem, pp. 69–74. Frankfurt a.M., Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg.Google Scholar
  22. Le Gros Clark WE (1955).The Fossil Evidence for Human Evolution, 3rd Edition. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  23. Lieberman DE, Pilbeam DR & Wood BA (1988).A probabilistic approach to the problem of sexual dimorphism in Homo habilis: a comparison of KNM-ER 1470 and KNM-ER 1813. J. hum. Evol. 17, 503–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lovejoy CO (1970).The taxonomic status of the “Meganthropus” mandibular fragments from the Djetis beds of Java. Man N.S. 5, 228–236.Google Scholar
  25. Nishinmura S, Ikeda T & Yokoyama T (1980). A fundamental investigation on the fission-track method. Report for Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research, 5–11.Google Scholar
  26. Orchiston DW & WG Siesser (1982).Chronostratigraphy of the Plio-Pleistocent fossi hominids of Java. Mod. Quat. Res. SE Asia 7, 131–149.Google Scholar
  27. Piveteau J (1957).Traite de Paleontolgie. Volume VII. Paris: Maisson et Cie.Google Scholar
  28. Pope GG (1983).Evidence on the age of the Asian Hominidae. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 90, 4988–4992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pope GG (1988).Recent advances in Far Eastern paleonathropology. Ann. Rev. Anthropol. 17, 43–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pope GG & JE Cronin (1984).The Asian hominidae. J. Hum. Evol. 13, 377–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rightmire GP (1990).The Evolution of Homo erectus: Comparative Anatomical Studies of an Extinct Human Species. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Robinson JT (1955).Further remarks on the relationship between Meganthropus and australopithecines. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 13, 429–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Robinson JT (1972).Early Hominid Posture and Locomotion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  34. Sartono S (1961).Notes on a new find of a Pithecanthropus mandible. Publikasi. Tenik. Seri. Paleontologi. 2, 1–51.Google Scholar
  35. Sartono S (1980).Pre-sapiens migration in Southeast Asia. Internat. Ass. Historians of Asia, VIIIth Conference, Kualaumpur (Malaysia), August, 1980.Google Scholar
  36. Sartono S (1982).Sagittal cresting among Meganthropus palaeojavanicus v.K.? Modern Quaternary Research in S.E. Asia, Special Issue, vol. 7.Google Scholar
  37. Sartono S (1991).Meganthropus palaeojavanicus v.K.: its place in human evolution. Unpublished paper presented at the 4th International Senckenberg Conference, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.Google Scholar
  38. Sartono S & D Grimaud-Herve (1983).Les Parietaux de l'Hominide Sangiran 31. L'Anthropologie (Paris) 87, 465–468.Google Scholar
  39. Sonadaar PY (1984).Faunal evolution and the mammalian biostratigraphy of Java. Cour. Forsh. Inst. Senckenberg, 69, 219–235.Google Scholar
  40. Suzuki M & B Wikarno (1982).Fission-tracks ages of pumice tuffs layers and javites of hominid hearing formations in Sangiran, Central Java. Comm. XI Int. Congr. Moscow, INQUA, 2, 322.Google Scholar
  41. Suzuki M, Wikarno B, Saefudin I, & Itihara M. (1985).Fission track ages of pumice tuff, tuff layers and Javites of hominid fossil bearing formations in Sangiran area, Central Java. In (N Watanabe and D Kadar eds.) Quaternary Geology of the Hominid Fossil Bearing Formations in Java: Report of the Indonesia-Japan Joint Research Project CTA-41, 1976–1979. Special Bulletin Number 4. Bandung, Indonesia: Geological Research and Development Centre, 309–358.Google Scholar
  42. Swisher CC, Curtis GH, Jacob T, Getty AG, Suprijo A & Widrasmoro (1994).Age of the earliest known hominids in Java, Indonesia. Science, 263, 1118–1121.Google Scholar
  43. Tyler DE (1991).A taxonomy of Javan hominid mandibles. Human Evolution, 6, 401–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tyler DE (1994).The taxonomic status of “Meganthropus”. In (JL Franzen, Ed.) 100 Years of “Pithecanthropus”: The Homo erectus Problem, pp. 115–121. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg: Frankfurt a.M.Google Scholar
  45. Watanabe N & Kadar D. eds. (1985).Quaternary Geology of the Hominid Fossil Bearing Formations in Java. Report of the Indonesia-Japan Joint Research Project CTA-41, 1976–1979. Special Bulletin Number 4, Bandung, Indonesia: Geological Research and Development Centre.Google Scholar
  46. Weidenreich F (1945).Giant early man from Java and South China. Anthrop. Pap. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 40, 1–34.Google Scholar
  47. Yokoyama T, Hadiwisastra S, Hantoro W, Matsuda T & Nishimura S (1980). K−Ar age of the Lahar Tuff lowest part of the Pucangan Formation, Pleistocene of Sangiran, Central Java, Indonesia. Riset. Geologi dan Pertambangan, LIPI, 3, 1–7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Institute for the Study of Man 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tyler D. E. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of AnthropologyUniversity of IdahoMoscowU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations