Peking man

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Related to Peking man: Java man

Homo erectus

Homo erectus (hōˈmō ērĕkˈtəs), extinct hominin living between 1.6 million and 250,000 years ago, possibly as late as c.110,000 years ago. Homo erectus is thought to have evolved in Africa from H. habilis, the first member of the genus Homo. African forms of H. erectus are classified by some scientists as H. ergaster. Anatomically and physiologically, H. erectus resembles contemporary humans except for a stouter bone structure. The size of its braincase (850–1000 cc), approaches that of H. sapiens, but the cranial bones are more massive than either those of H. habilis or modern humans.

The material culture of H. erectus was significantly more complex than that of its predecessors, including Achuelian stone tools (see Paleolithic), a variety of tools fashioned from wood and other perishable materials, the use of fire, and seasonally occupied, oval-shaped huts. Evidence of extensive cooperative behavior is abundant in a number of European habitation and hunting sites, including Terra Amata, France, and Terralba and Ambrona, Spain. H. erectus populations occupied these sites seasonally, while pursuing an annual subsistence cycle based on a combination of big-game hunting and the gathering of shellfish and plant foods.

H. erectus dispersed into Asia more than 1.3 million years ago, and into Europe by at least 400,000 years ago, and after disappearing elsewhere may have survived on Java as late as 108,000 years ago (on the basis of a 2019 dating of the likely location in which H. erectus fossils were found in the 1930s). Fossils of this species were first discovered in 1891 by French anatomist Eugene Dubois in Java. The specimen, which came to be known as “Java man,” was at first classified as Pithecanthropus erectus. H. erectus remains, originally dubbed “Peking man” (Sinanthropus pekinensis), were also found in China at the Zhoukoudian cave near Beijing in the late 1920s. Heidelberg man (named after the 500,000-year-old remains first found near Heidelberg, Germany, in 1907) was classified by some scientists as H. erectus (and by others as archaic H. sapiens), but is now classified as H. heidelbergensis and considered to be the ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

See also human evolution.


See B. A. Sigmon and J. S. Cybulski, Homo erectus (1981); N. Eldredge and I. Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution (1982); M. H. Day, Guide to Fossil Man (4th ed. 1984); G. P. Rightmire, The Evolution of Homo Erectus (1990); D. Johanson, L. Johanson, and B. Edgar, Ancestors (1994); C. C. Swisher 3d et al., Java Man (2000); P. Shipman, The Man Who Found the Missing Link: Eugène Dubois and His Lifelong Quest to Prove Darwin Right (2001).

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Peking man

[′pē‚kiŋ ′man]
Sinanthropus pekinensis. An extinct human type; the braincase was thick, with a massive basal and occipital torus structure and heavy browridges.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Later discoveries showed that Peking man was very similar to Java man, which Dubois had discovered (see 1890).
The protective excavation of the No.1 site at the Zhoukoudian Peking Man Site was launched on May 16.
The archaeologists said the tools dated back to the early Paleolithic period, when early humans such as Peking Man lived in caves.
There are only a few remains of human dwelling structures from the Early Paleolithic period in the world, as early humans such as the Peking Man lived in caves.
Hard Core Logo, the story of a punk band's last-ditch reunion tour, will be released in November and Mighty Peking Man, a Hong Kong remake of King Kong, will come out in January.
Shen returns to China to participate in an excavation at the famous Peking Man site at Zhoukoudian, near Beijing.
Washington, August 12 (ANI): A team of archaeologists has come across evidence which proves that the "Peking Man" was able to use fire roughly 200-000 to 500,000 years ago.
Researchers said the newest finding is one of only a few remains of buildings from the Early Paleolithic period, as early humans such as the Peking Man lived in caves.
Chen Shen is following in the footsteps of Toronto researcher Davidson Black, discoverer of the famed Peking Man fossils in China.
New Delhi, June 25 (ANI): Reports indicate that reinforcement has begun at the Peking Man site in China to prevent one of its walls from collapsing.
THE JESUIT AND THE SKULL: Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man AMIR D, ACZEL
Chen Shen is part of a team re-excavating the famed Zoukoudian Cave site in China, where in the 1920s the first skull of Peking Man was found.