Time Period of existance: 1.8 million to 200,000 B.C.E

Homo Erectus/Upright Men were discovered in the year 1891 by a Dutchman named Eugene Dubois in Java -later nicknamed 'Java Man'- . These were the third type of hominids. Scientist believe that Homo Erctus/Upright Men lived from 1.8 million to 200,000 B.C.E. (Pithecanthropus erectus ("ape-man") was the name Dubois gave to this new species.)


external image timeline.gif

Location:
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Europe


Paleoanthropologists -people who specialize in studying the earlies hominids- found Homo Erectus bones in Africa, Asia and Europe. The larges portion of Homo erectus fossils to date though were disvoered in a cave in Bejing, China. These discoveries were made in the 1920's and 1930's.

Physical Appearance:
  • Stood upright
  • Tall and thin
  • Height of modern day humans
  • Round foreheads
  • Ridge above their eyes
  • Thick skulls
  • Eyes that stuck out

Homo Erectus/Upright men looked more like humans than hominds. They stood upright and they were taller and thinner than most hominids. Their height was around the height of modern day humans they were about 5 and 1/2 feet tall. They had round foreheads and a large, smooth ridge above their eyes. Their skulls were thicker than ours and their eyes stuck out. The size of its braincase approaches that of Homo sapeins, but the cranial bones are more massive then either of Homo habilis or modern humans.

external image T012882B.jpg(Homo Erectus skull)

Key capabilities that helped them survive (or disappear):
  • Strong bones for walking and running
  • Tool makers
  • Hut makers
  • Good with fire
  • Ate red deer, elephant, rhinoceros, goat, boar and oysters
  • Slept on animal skin
  • Long living hominids

    The Homo Erectus had very strong bones so they could walk well and run well. They were tool makers. They made huts by covering posts with tree branches. They usually had a fire in the middle of the huts. They were good at using fire. They used fire to cook animal meat. Some of the animals they feasted on were red deer, elephant, rhinoceros, goat, boar and oysters. At night, they slept on animal skin to keep them warm. Since they were good at controling fire, that made sure that they were warm in the cold times. Since they had so many capabilities, this made them live longer than normal hominids.
    Homo Erectus around fire
    Homo Erectus around fire


Other facts:

Homo erectus is one of the biggest cultrual events in history - the use of fire. The evidince for this is found at Zhoukodian. There is charcoal, charred bones and fire cracked rocks.

Resources:
History Alive Text. Chap. 2
World Wide Web