Lida Ajer cave: In the footsteps of Eugene Dubois

An early modern human presence in Sumatra 73,000–63,000 years ago

“Our fieldtrip to Sumatra followed in the footsteps of Eugene Dubois, the Dutch paleoanthropologist famous for his discovery of ‘Java Man’ (Homo erectus). In the late 1800’s, Dubois also collected fossil teeth of another hominin but they remained largely unstudied and undated… until now. Our new study confirms that the teeth are modern humans (H. sapiens), with our dating program showing that they may be as old as 73,000 years old. The finding basically re-writes our understanding about when humans arrived in Southeast Asia, their exploitation of rainforests, and a bunch of other things. You can read the full paper here.

Video by Gilbert Price

Photo by Julien Louys