Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Java Man

  • Russell L. Ciochon
  • O. Frank Huffman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_712


“Java Man” is the informal name given to Pleistocene Homo erectus inhabitants of Java. The fossil discoveries on the island include the first for this extinct species, which is now known to have been widely distributed across the temperate and tropical zones of the Old World. Today, more than 100 skeletal specimens have been attributed to this species from localities in Central and East Java (Fig. 1; Indriati 2004). No other confirmed specimen of Homo erectus is known from elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Bettis III, E.A., A.K. Milius, S.J. Carpenter, R. Larick, Y. Zaim, Y. Rizal, R.L. Ciochon, S.A. Tassier-Surine, D. Murray, Suminoto & S. Bronto. 2009. Way out of Africa: early Pleistocene paleoenvironments inhabited by Homo erectus in Sangiran, Java. Journal of Human Evolution 56: 11-24.Google Scholar
  2. Ciochon, R.L., F. Huffman, E.A. Bettis III, Y. Zaim, Y. Rizal & Aswan. 2009. Rediscovery of the Homo erectus bed at Ngandong: site formation of a Late Pleistocene hominin site in Asia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology (Supplement 48) 106.Google Scholar
  3. De Vos, J. 2010. Chapter Twelve, Java, in A. van der Geer, G. Lyras, J. de Vos & M. Dermitzakis (ed.) Evolution of island mammals: adaptation and extinction of placental mammals on islands: 172-89. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  4. Frankel, M. 2010. Notes from an excavation. Nature doi:10.1038/news.2010.377.Google Scholar
  5. Huffman, O.F., Y. Zaim, J. Kappelman, D. Ruez, J. De Vos, Y. Rizal, F. Aziz & C. Hertler. 2006. Relocation of the 1936 Mojokerto skull discovery site near Perning, East Java. Journal of Human Evolution 50: 431-51.Google Scholar
  6. Huffman, O.F., J. De Vos, A.W. Berkhout & F. Aziz. 2010. Provenience reassessment of 1931-1933 Ngandong Homo erectus (Java), Confirmation of the bone-bed origin reported by the discoverers. PaleoAnthropology 2010: 1-60. Available at: http://www.paleoanthro.org/journal/content/PA20100001.pdf.
  7. Huffman, O.F., B. Voight, J. De Vos, J.P. Johnson, A. Balzeau & A.W. Berkhout. 2012. Volcanic mountains, river valleys and seacoasts -- the paleoenvironment of Homo erectus in eastern Java (Indonesia). Quaternary International 279-280: 210.Google Scholar
  8. Indriati, E. 2004. Indonesian fossil hominid discoveries from 1889 to 2003: catalogue and problems. Proceedings of the 5 th and 6 th Symposium on Collection Building and Natural History Studies in Asia and the Pacific Rim (National Science Museum Monographs 24): 163-77.Google Scholar
  9. Indriati, E., C.C. Swisher III, C. Lepre, R.L. Quinn, R.A. Suriyanto, A.T. Hascaryo, R. Grün, C.S. Feibel, B.L. Pobiner, M. Aubert, W. Lees & S.C. Antón. 2011. The age of the 20 meter Solo River terrace, Java, Indonesia and the survival of Homo erectus in Asia. PLoS One 6(6):e21562. Available at: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0021562.
  10. Joordens, C.A., F.P. Wesselingh, J. De Vos, H.B. Vonhof & D. Kroon. 2009. Relevance of aquatic environments for hominins: a case study from Trinil (Java, Indonesia). Journal of Human Evolution 57: 656-71.Google Scholar
  11. Larick, R., R.L. Ciochon, Y. Zaim, Sujijono, Suminto, Y. Rizal, F. Aziz, M. Reagan & M. Heizler. 2001. Early Pleistocene 40Ar/39Ar ages for Bapang Formation hominins, Central Jawa, Indonesia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98: 4866-71.Google Scholar
  12. Semah, A.-M. & F. Semah. 2012. The rain forest in Java through the Quaternary and its relationships with humans (adaptation, exploitation and impact on the forest). Quaternary International 249: 120-8.Google Scholar
  13. Semah, F. & A.-M. Semah. 2006. Palaeolithic settlements in the Southeast Asian archipelagos: an Indonesian perspective, in T. Simanjuntak, M. Hisyam, B. Prasetyo, & T.S. Nastiti (ed.) Archaeology: Indonesian perspective: R.P. Soejono’s Festschrift: 148-61. Jakarta: LIPI Press.Google Scholar
  14. Shipman, P. 2001. The man who found the missing link: Eugène Dubois and his lifelong quest to prove Darwin right. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  15. Swisher, C.C., W.J. Rink, S.C. Anton, H.P. Schwarcz, G.H. Curtis, A. Suprijo & Widiasmoro. 1996. Latest Homo erectus of Java: potential contemporaneity with Homo sapiens in South Asia. Science 274: 1870-4.Google Scholar
  16. Yokoyama, Y., C. Falguères, F. Sémah, T. Jacob & R. Grün. 2008. Gamma-ray spectrometric dating of late Homo erectus skulls from Ngandong and Sambungmacan, Central Java, Indonesia. Journal of Human Evolution 55: 274-7.Google Scholar
  17. Zaim, Y., R.L. Ciochon, J.M. Polanski, F.E. Grine, E.A. Bettis III, Y. Rizal, R.G. Franciscus, R.R. Larick, M. Heizler, Aswan, K.L. Eaves & H.E. Marsh. 2011. New 1.5 million-year-old Homo erectus maxilla from Sangiran (Central Java, Indonesia). Journal of Human Evolution 61: 363-76.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Deparment of AnthropologyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA