Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Team Sheds Light on Ice Age Human Evolution in Asia

23.09.2011
In an article published in the October issue of the Journal of Human Evolution (http://www.uiowa.edu/~anthro/documents/1.5-million-Homo-erectus-jaw.pdf), the team announced the discovery of a 1.5 million-year-old upper jaw of the human ancestor Homo erectus. Found at Sangiran (Sang-GRR-awn) on Indonesia's Java Island, the jaw is the oldest reputably dated example of "Java Man," the Homo erectus type originally discovered in 1891.

The find came from Sangiran expeditions conducted from 1998 through 2008 and co-led by UI Professor Russell L. Ciochon (sha-HAWN) and ITB Professor Yahdi Zaim (zye-EEM). In 2001, UI Associate Professor of Geoscience E. Arthur Bettis III joined the team to study the stratigraphy, sedimentology and soils in order to reliably date the Sangiran site.

The upper jawbone (fossil maxilla) was discovered as the team studied the geology and dating of the Sangiran lower fossil beds. The new fossil is the first Java specimen found in beds under direct geological study, making its provenance incontrovertible. The UI-ITB team has published several peer-reviewed papers dating the Sangiran lower beds to 1.5 million years ago.

Ciochon notes that the new fossil teeth contained within the jawbone show similarities to Homo erectus teeth found in East Africa and Western Eurasia. They are less like those of China's "Peking Man" -- Homo erectus teeth found in Northeast Asia.

Ciochon said that East Asia's two Homo erectus groups (Java and China) may have had separate geographic origins.

"Our team's find at Sangiran is one of several recently discovered human fossils, such as the so-called 'Hobbit' -- an island-dwarfed species of early human -- of the Indonesian island of Flores, as well as the discovery of a unique ancient human DNA lineage at a site in Siberia called Denisova, that has put East Asia in the scientific spotlight," Ciochon said.

"We are now gaining a greater appreciation for the complexity of human evolution in the region, and our research at Sangiran provides yet another line of evidence in an ever-growing mass of data that will help shed light on this faintly illuminated region in our distant human past," he said.

Ciochon is a professor in the UI Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). Other CLAS co-authors are Associate Professor Robert Franciscus and graduate students K. Lindsay Eaves and Hannah Marsh. ITB co-authors are Yan Rizal and Aswan. Other co-authors are Assistant Professor Joshua Polanski, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas (2010 CLAS Ph.D. graduate); Professor Frederick Grine, Departments of Anthropology and Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University, N.Y.; Roy Larick, Helios Laser, Cleveland, Ohio; and Matthew Heizler, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, Socorro, N.M.

The project was funded by the L.S.B. Leakey Foundation and the following UI sources: Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research; Central Investment Fund for Research Enhancement in the Office of the Vice-President for Research; Collaborative Interdisciplinary Projects Initiative in the Office of the Vice President for Research; Office of the Dean, CLAS; and the Human Evolution Research Fund at the University of Iowa Foundation.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Russell Ciochon, UI Department of Anthropology, russell-ciochon@uiowa.edu, 319-335-0522; Gary Galluzzo, UI News Services, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu

Russell Ciochon | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uiowa.edu

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>