Extinction of Homo erectus
Last fossils of a long-lived early human species
The extinction of Homo erectus was a major event in human evolution. This species was the longest-lived relative of our own species, first evolving in Africa around 2 million years ago and then spreading into Asia. According to new dating of fossils from Java, Indonesia, H. erectus persisted in this region until around 108,000 to 117,000 years ago. For comparison, our own species, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa only about 300,000 years ago. The new dates from Java confirm that Homo erectus overlapped in time with our species - but went extinct before modern humans arrived in southeast Asia, where the last population of Homo erectus is thought to have lived.
Published in the journal Nature January 16, 2020, by Yan Rizal and colleagues.