By Aylin Woodward
In the early 1930s, Dutch anthropologists found a giant bed of bones hidden above the banks of the Solo River on the Indonesian island of Java.
Buried in the river mud in an area called Ngandong were more than 25,000 fossil specimens, including 12 skullcaps and two leg bones from a particularly intriguing human ancestor: Homo erectus.
This species of early human persisted for nearly 2 million years and spread far across parts of Africa and Asia. But scientists had been unable to identify when the last of them died out.
Efforts to determine the exact age of the Java fossils didn’t help much, since they gave a broad range of options: Their time of death was estimated to be somewhere between 550,000 and 27,000 years ago.
But a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature has put questions about the fate of the last Homo erectus to rest.
Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.