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Homo erectus lived alongside modern humans

By T.K. Randall
December 26, 2019 · Comment icon 10 comments

A partial Homo erectus skull. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Commie cretan
One of our ancient ancestors held on for so long that it was still around when modern humans arrived on the scene.
Believed to have been the first human species to walk upright, Homo erectus (or 'upright man') first appeared around two million years ago and was the direct ancestor of several human species.

Despite its relatively primitive nature however, this prehistoric hominin managed to survive for a remarkably long period of time and now, according to a new study, Homo erectus may have even walked the Earth at the same time as modern humans as recently as 100,000 years ago.

The discovery is based on a renewed analysis of a site along the Solo River at Ngandong in central Java where a number of partial Homo erectus skulls were found back in the 1930s.

"This is a very comprehensive study of the depositional context of the famous Ngandong Homo erectus partial skulls and shin bones, and the authors build a strong case that these individuals died and were washed into the deposits of the Solo River about 112,000 years ago," said Prof Chris Stringer of London's Natural History Museum.
"This age is very young for such primitive-looking Homo erectus fossils, and establishes that the species persisted on Java for well over one million years."

The researchers believe that the individuals whose remains were discovered at the site died after a violent wave of slurry washed downriver due to heavy rains following a volcanic eruption.

Despite this however, the species as a whole appeared to have clung on in the region hundreds of thousands of years after it had disappeared from China, Africa and other parts of the world.

It is likely that Java's isolated location played an important role in Homo erectus' longevity there.

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Piney 4 years ago
This idea was thrown around Smithsonian 20 something years ago due to certain features found in Native Americans and Asians. I think it's true.  There has also been some suggestions that Erectus or Denisovan survived up until about 15,000 years ago in Southern Asia but due to DNA degradation in tropical environments the skulls species cannot be determined. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hammerclaw 4 years ago
Quite believable. Modern humans encountered and mingled with relic populations of earlier migrations throughout their early history. We were "human" long before modern man even existed. The fact that we could interact with them on a social level says a lot about their apparent sophistication.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Farmer77 4 years ago
These stories bring up the imagery of a primitive mos eisley cantina. I like it.
Comment icon #4 Posted by RoofGardener 4 years ago
Ahhhhhh.. that would explain all those people defecating on the street in San Francisco ? 
Comment icon #5 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 4 years ago
We know that there were several hominids living alongside early humans, such as Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo Floresiensis. It seems like there were quite a few hominids in early human history. It is surprising that an early hominid lasted that long considering the competition at the time. It goes to show that we are an adaptable bunch. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by DanL 4 years ago
It is no surprise that they coexisted for a short time with modern man. They were a very successful species...until modern man killed them all. ANY species that competed with modern man faced extermination.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Myles 4 years ago
They started it!
Comment icon #8 Posted by DanL 4 years ago
Comment icon #9 Posted by third_eye 4 years ago
We're seeing the same subliminal message movie scene...  ~ As for Java and H. erectus, I suspect I have more than a few for neighbors..  ~
Comment icon #10 Posted by Farmer77 4 years ago
Somehow I doubt this is the first time either!

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