Meganthropus Paleojavanicus, The Oldest Early Human History in Indonesia

Meganthropus Paleojavanicus – Indonesia has an important history and culture, including in the world of archeology or archeology. For example, the discovery of ancient human fossils. Of several ancient human fossils in Indonesia, Meganthropus Paleojavanicus is the oldest ancient human fossil.

Fossils of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus were found in the Sangiran area, Central Java. Now Sangiran is an archaeological site on the island of Java.

The discoverer of the Meganthropus Paleojavanicus fossil was GHR Von Koenigswald in 1941. Early human types have a large bone structure.

GHR Von Koenigswald conducted research from the Bengawan Solo river from 1936 – 1941. It is estimated that this Javanese giant man came from the lower Pleistocene layer.
Meganthropus Paleojavanicus is characterized by a well-built body, large and strong jaws. This ancient human type is thought to have lived in the Old Stone Age (Pleothhikum). Life time is estimated 1 million to 2 million years ago.

The parts found at that time were the lower jaw and the upper jaw. It was Von Koenigswald who gave the name Meganthropus Paleojavanicus which means ” a giant man from Java .”

Meganthropus Paleojavanicus still relies on nature to survive. When the natural resources for food run out, they will move to other places that provide abundant natural resources.

Meganthropus Paleojavanicus

Meganthropus Paleojavanicus comes from the word ‘mega’ which means ‘big’ and anthropus means human. While the word ‘paleo’ means old and ‘Javanicus’ comes from Java. The discovery of fossils was not found in a complete state. The only fossils found were the skull, lower jaw and loose teeth.

The planting is also not just a name and without reason. This means that the body of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus is quite large compared to other early humans. The researchers estimated their presence from several remnants of life around the place where they were found, such as carvings, household tools and so on.

The fossils of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus that have been found are fragments of the upper jaw, fragments of the lower jaw and a number of loose teeth. In addition to the existence of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus, in Java there are also many physical evidences of the existence of early humans who have been buried since the Lower, Middle, and Upper Pleistocene to the early Holocene.

The Meganthropus Paleojavanicus fossil is thought to have existed from the oldest period, namely the Lower Pleistocene or around 2,588,000 years ago.

Characteristics of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus

1. The bones on the crown appear short and the shape of the nose is wide

The bones on the fontanel that he has appear short but his nose is wide. That way, the face of this ancient human is very similar to that of a gorilla, it’s just that there are a number of fundamental differences that don’t lead him to the ape species.

2. Has a prominent forehead protrusion and thick cheekbones.

The forehead of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus is very prominent and thick. Besides that, the cheekbones are the same, so the shape is clearer with clearly printed strokes.

3. The shape of the molars resembles a human

Although the physical form is more similar to apes and gorillas, there is still one characteristic that humans have today, namely the shape of their molars. However, the teeth and jaws were bigger and stronger than humans today. This is useful for chewing hard foods better.

4. The brain volume is 900 cc

Surviving in nature gave paleojavanicus ancient humans a brain volume of up to 900 cc. This indicates that even though his life was far from sophistication and ease, his thinking ability was quite high so that he could make good use of nature.

For example, the tools used by these ancient humans were hand axes and chopping axes as tools for processing food and hunting.

5. Has a height of about 2.5 meters

The feature of the ancient human, Meganthropus Paleojavanicus, is his very high body. In fact, his recorded height is almost 2.5 meters.
When compared with today’s humans will be very visible difference. This is because modern people only have a maximum height limit of 1.8 meters.

6. The way it walks is similar to an orangutan, that is, it bends with the hands supporting the body.

If ordinary humans generally walk with an upright body but of course their ancestors are very different, according to research the way they walk is more like an orangutan, namely bending more with both hands used to support the body.

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The first human ancestor who was able to stand and walk upright was Pithecanthropus Erectus who lived long after Meganthropus Paleojavanicus.

7. Thick and strong lower jaw

These thick and strong lower jaws were used by early humans to chew food with a hard texture. If his life as a nomad makes him dependent on nature, of course there will be lots of plants or fruit with skin that is not soft.

8. Well-built stature.

9. Strong chewing muscles.

10. Does not have a chin, but the mouth is protruding.

11. Eating types of plants – plants.

12. Has a sharp rear protrusion.

13. Large and strong neck muscle attachment.

14. Very large teeth and jaws.

15. His arms are longer than his feet.

Other Early Human Types

Apart from Meganthropus Paleojavanicus, there are several other early human fossils found in Indonesia, namely Pithecanthropus and Homo Sapien. Here’s the full explanation:

1. Pithecanthropus

Pithecanthropus or known as ape man is a type of ancient human whose fossils are most commonly found in Indonesia. The first fossil discovery was discovered by a Dutch archaeologist named Eugene Dubois in 1891 in Trinil, Ngawai

Pithecanthropus fossils date from the lower and middle Pleistocene. They have jawbones, molar teeth and well-built bodies. Pithecanthropus lived during the early and middle Pleistocene around 1 million to 1.5 million years ago, with a height of about 168 – 180 cm, an average body weight of 80 – 100 kg.

Characteristics of Pithecanthropus as follows:

  1. Have a straight body.
  2. Walk straight.
  3. There are jaw bones and molar teeth.
  4. Has a brain volume of around 775 – 975 cc.
  5. Has a prominent and very thick forehead.
  6. No chin.
  7. Has an elongated roof of the skull.
  8. Has a chewing tool and eats everything.
  9. How to walk like a monkey.
  10. The nape of the brain is small.
  11. Straight bones with well-defined muscle attachment sites.
  12. Have a chewing tool and nape muscles are very strong.
  13. It has very strong jaws with large molars.
  14. Has a thick nose.

The back of the head looks prominent. Three types of Pithecanthropus in Indonesia were found, namely Pithecanthropus Mojokertensis, Pithecanthropus Robustus, and Pithecanthropus Erectus.

a. Pithecanthropus Mojokertensis

Von Koenigswald discovered this early human fossil in the village of Perning, East Java. The fossils found are those of children who are 5 years old. Pithecanthropus Mojokertensis has a well-built body, thick forehead, strong cheeks and a face that protrudes forward.

b. Pithecanthropus Robustus

Weidenreich and Von Koenigswald found this ancient human fossil in 1939. The location of the discovery was in Trinil, the Bengawan Solo valley.

c. Pithecanthropus Erectus

Eugene Dubois discovered an ancient human species in the village of Trinil, Ngawa, East Java. Pithecanthropus erectus has a brain volume of up to 900 cc. Meanwhile, the modern human brain is above 1,000 cc. According to Darwin’s theory, Pithecanthropus Erectus is a transitional creature from ape to human.

2. Homo sapiens

This ancient human type has a body shape similar to ordinary humans. They have human-like characteristics, live a simple and wandering life.
There are types of Homo Sapiens namely Homo Soloensis and Homo Wajakensis. In 1889, Van Rietschoten discovered Homo Wajakensis in 1889 in the village of Wajak, Tulungagung, East Java. It is estimated that this ancient human type lived around 40,000 – 25,000 years BC.

Meanwhile, Homo Soloensis was found in Ngandong, Blora, in Sangiran and Terusan Macan. The discoverers of Homo Soloensis are Ter Haar, Opgenoorth and Von Koenigswald. They made expeditions and discoveries in 1931 – 1933. It is estimated that Homo Soloensis lived around 300,000 – 900,000 years ago.

The characteristics of Homo Sapiens include:

  • Was walking and standing straight.
  • Brain volume varies between 1000 – 1450 cc.
  • Cerebrum and cerebellum have developed, especially in the skin of the brain.
  • Has a height of about 130 – 210 cm with an average body weight of 30 -150 kg.
  • The bones of the forehead and the back of the skull are rounded and high.
  • Have teeth and chewing tools that experience shrinkage.
  • The nape muscles are shrinking.
  • The chin and jaw bones are not very strong.
  • The face does not protrude forward.
  • Has more perfect features.

The life of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus

The lifestyle of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus is still nomadic, aka moving around and finding food by hunting and gathering. However, very few fossil fragments of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus have been found. Until now, no tools have been found that were used by this type of ancient human.

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Experts also have difficulty identifying the existence and culture they left behind. This also triggers differences of opinion among experts.

Some experts consider it to be Pithecanthropus, while others believe it to be Australopithecus. In Africa, fossils have been found that come from the same layer as Meganthropus.

In the vicinity of the fossil also found stone tools that are still rough. It is suspected that they used cooking utensils that were still very rough, because they were made in a very simple way, namely by striking a stone against another surface.

The shards from the impact of the rock will resemble an axe. This tool is then used to collect food and cook. The equipment is in the form of a pickaxe and flake tools.

Discovery of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus

Initially, Meganthropus Paleojavanicus was discovered by archaeologist GHR Von Koenigswald in 1936. Then, during a mission trip to Java in 1937, archaeologist Franz Weidenreich joined him.

The two archaeologists managed to find Meganthropus Paleojavanicus fossils at the Sangiran site, in the Pucangan formation to be precise. Sangiran itself is an ancient site located in Sragen Regency, Central Java Province.

Historical fossils of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus were detected from the arrangement of bones which included the lower and upper jaw bones, skull and several teeth that had been removed. After that, a study was conducted which proved that Meganthropus Paleojavanicus ate plants during his life.

The Life Pattern of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus

Just like other early humans, Meganthropus Paleojavanicus lived a nomadic life and relied on hunting. This means that the oldest ancient human in Indonesia lives by relying on nature.

If the food resources in the place where they live run out, Meganthropus Paleojavanicus will move to another place that has abundant natural resources. Usually, in processing food and changing the environment where they live, Meganthropus Paleojavanicus uses assistive devices such as hand axes and chopping axes. Therefore, these tools are very useful for cutting up hunted food.

Further Research on Meganthropus Paleojavanicus Fossils

In 1942, Von Koenigswald was captured by the Japanese occupiers. Therefore, research on ancient human fossils was continued by a scientist named Franz Weidenreich. From the research conducted, he found that the shape of the ancient human jaw was the same as that of a gorilla, but had a larger size. Similar fossil discoveries will continue to be made the next time. Several researchers such as Marks, Sartono, Tyler and Krantz continue to find similar fossils, especially at the Sangiran site and its surroundings.

Early Human Research in Indonesia

1. Eugene Dobois

Eugene Dubois was the person who first became interested in researching ancient humans in Indonesia after receiving a skull shipment from BD Von Reitschoten who found skulls in Wajak, Tulung Agung.

This fossil is called Homo Wajakensis, belonging to the type of Homo Sapien / human who has advanced thinking. Another fossil found, namely Pithecanthropus Erectus, comes from the word pithekos which means monkey, Antropus Human, Erectus walking upright, found in the Trinil area, on the edge of the Bengawan Solo, near Ngawi in 1891.

2. Gustav Heinrich Ralph

The findings of Gustav Heinrich Ralph are fossilized skulls in Ngandong, Blora. In 1936 a child’s skull was found in Perning, Mojokerto. Meanwhile, in 1937 – 1941, the skulls and jaws of Homo Erectus and Meganthropus Paleojavanicus were found in Sangiran, Solo.

Other discoveries about early humans were the discovery of the skull, jaw, hipbone and femur of Meganthropus, Homo Erectus and Homo Sapien at the locations Sangiran, Terusmacan/ Sragen, Trinil, Ngandong and Patiayam/ Kudus.

3. Teuku Jacob

After Indonesia’s independence, research on ancient humans was continued by experts from Indonesia, including Prof. Dr. Teuku Jacob. Prof. Dr. Teuku Jacob again conducted research in the village of Sangiran, along the Bengawan Solo River.

This research managed to find thirteen fossils. The last fossil was found in 1973 in the village of Kontakmacan, Sragen, Central Java.

So, that’s the history of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus , the oldest ancient human in Indonesia. Is Sinaumed’s looking for that history? Apparently, there is also a lot of knowledge about the history of Meganthropus Paleojavanicus, yes.

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Author: Rosyda Nur Fauziyah

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