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A mystery settled — Homo erectus remains are confirmed to be youngest link to the past

A century has passed since the legendary skull fragment was unearthed. Recently, archaeologists confirmed our youngest ancestor. The bones Unearthed back in 1931 have been confirmed to be the youngest Homo erectus remains ever found. It could be the last tangible (or measurable) youngest connection to our human ancestors. These remains aren’t to be confused with Java Man, which was also unearthed on the Indonesian island of Java (Java Man was excavated back in 1892).

It’s a remarkable confirmation considering it almost didn’t even happen. Isaac Schultz at Atlas Obscura reports:

“When you think about it, out of the 25,000 some fossils on the site, only 14 were a Homo erectus,” says Russel Ciochon, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and lead author of the study, published recently in the journal Nature. “They lucked out. Had they not found the skull, they may not have put such time into it.”

A skull fragment of H. erectus found nearly a century ago in Java. Source: Macquarie University