Pithecanthropus


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Related to Pithecanthropus: Meganthropus

Pithecanthropus

 

an individual of a group (Pithecanthropus) of ancient humans—the Archanthropines. Pithecanthropoid bones have been found on Java. The first remains—a skull cap, a femur, and teeth—were discovered in 1890–92 by the Dutch anthropologist E. Dubois. By 1973, skull fragments, lower jaws, femur fragments, and teeth from more than 20 individuals had been found. Of particular interest is a skull with an intact facial skeleton, which was discovered in 1969.

The pithecanthropi had a fully erect gait and a large (averaging 900 cc), complex brain. The low skull was sharply angulate in back. There was a prominent brow ridge and a jawbone with a receding chin. The Pithecanthropus, along with the Sinanthropus, the Atlanthropus, the Heidelberg man, and the Oldoway man, has been assigned to the species Homo erectus. The age of the Pithecanthropus had been estimated at 500,000 to 700,000 years until 1972, when new data placed it as far back as 1.2 million years.

REFERENCE

Uryson, M. I. “Pitekantropy, sinantropy i blizkie im formy gominid.” In the collection Iskopaemye gominidy i proiskhozhdenie cheloveka. Moscow, 1966.

V. P. IAKIMOV

References in periodicals archive ?
In 1957 Singer (volume 31) saw them as `purely an extension of the Pithecanthropus type .
sequence of evolution' (volume 24: 185-6), and furthermore that they could form the earlier part of an evolutionary sequence continued by Pithecanthropus.
Pithecanthropus was seen as `almost advanced as some of the modern "primitive" races in that they were capable of manufacturing stone tools, apparently practised cannibalism, and allegedly knew of the use of fire' (volume 31: 196).
Some years after its discovery, the Neanderthal became entrenched in debates on the antiquity and the descent of man until these were altered by the discovery of two nearly intact skeletons from the Belgian cave site of Spy in 1886, and by Dubois' finds on Java of Pithecanthropus erectus in 1891-2 (Bowler 1986: 33-5; Theunissen 1989; Trinkaus & Shipman 1993: 126-58).
Around this time the study of apes primarily focused on anatomical and physical features, and with the discovery of Haeckel's proposed 'missing link' Pithecanthropus in 1893, a new phase in ancestor studies begins.