Human Fossil Findings in Indonesia

Human Fossil Findings in Indonesia

Indonesia is an important country to examine about human origins and evolution due to many sites within central Java such as Sangiran and Ngandong which account for 75 percent of the worlds Homo erectus findings Frederick Worden 2011 Evolution of Homo sapiens in Indonesia has shown Indonesian archipelago was inhabited by Homo erectus which were known as the Java Man between 15 million years ago and resent as 35000 years ago About 800000 years ago some of the earliest hominids of the archipelago made tools constructed boats used fire and had a language Fredrick Worden 2011 Furthermore about 600000 years ago these hominids have developed a more complex and civilized culture which was dispersing throughout Indonesia Fredrick Worden 2011 Patterns of evolution started to form through hunting fishing and creating communities which depended on tools made of materials such as shell wood bamboo and stone Fredrick Worden 2011

The most recent discoveries in human fossils were in 2004 on the island of Flores Indonesia which is located between Bali and Timor Flores Indonesia is one of many Wallacean islands which lie east of Wallaces Line and west of Lydekkers LineTeams of archeologists found an entirely new type of hominid species at the Liang Bua excavation site which has since been named Homo floresiensis This type of hominid has been considered a new hominid type that had locally evolved was a considerably smaller hominid and was mixed between Homo erectus and modern humans Fredrick Worden 2011

Homo floresiensis was a dwarf human which lived at Liang Bua between at least 95000 and 13000 years ago The species was believed to have used stone tools fire and hunted small animals found on Flores Foley 2005 The newly found remains had a skull that appeared to belong to a hominine species possibly belonging to a child considering its size but once the remaining parts of its skull and teeth were found and they concluded it did not belong to a child but an adult The remains of this hominines partial skeleton was found and the likes of which had never been discovered beforeToday this specimen is referred to as Liang Bua 1 Smithsonian Institution 2014 The earliest modern humans coexisted with their hominid relatives for thousands of years although there is no evidence of this at Liang Bua Fredrick Warden 2011

Although Indonesia is extremely diverse ethnically with more than 350 distinct ethnic groups that are recognized along with 13 languages spoken by 1 million speakers Fredrick Warden 2011 Human immigration to the islands of Indonesia occurred as long ago as 3000BC and was continuous for about 3000 years People immigrated to Indonesia in small groups and established independent civilizations all around the coast occasionally coexisting with the hostile descendants of Java Man Frederick Worden 2011 In the next several millennia Indonesia developed cultural characteristics that still exist today such as rice agriculture ceramic and metal technology and the expansion of long distance seal travel and trade

Earlier inhabitants used horticultural economy in which they grew cereals created pottery and stone tools during the period 2500 to 500 BC Glasscase 2011 During the period between 500 BC and AD 500 as the people of the archipelago increasingly interacted with South and East Asia metals and domesticated farm animals were introduced Glasscase 2011 The Dongson culture which originated in Vietnam and southern China around 1000 BC spread to Indonesia bringing irrigated rice growing techniques husbandry skills buffalo sacrifice rituals bronze casting the custom of erecting megaliths and ikat weaving methods By 700 BC Indonesia was dotted with permanent villages where life was linked to rice production Lonely Planet 2014

These early settlers were animists believing all objects had a life force or soul The spirits of the dead had to be honored as they could still help the living and influence natural events while evil spirits had to be w

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