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

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History
24.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

nachricht Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
23.05.2017 | University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

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 quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>