Homo erectus. Homo erectus (straight walking people) lived in the period from 2 million until 400 thousand years ago. There is a version, that they first appeared in Africa and than gradually spread through the rest of the Ancient World. Eugen Dubois found the first fossils of this specie in the end of XIX century on Java Island (1891-1893).
In the lower-quarter layers, on the left bank of river Solo (or Bengavan), near Trinil were found a skull, one hip bone and three teeth (picture 1).
Since that first find, many fossils were found, but all the fossils found are just fragments, so there is no exact picture of the sized that Homo erectus was: whether there were couple of types of Homo erectus, or they had different looks within one type. However, the richest source of fossils has been the Lake Turkana region of northern Kenya, both on the east and west sides.
These sites have exposed the oldest and most complete speciments. In 1975, an almost complete cranium was found and then dated at 1.8 million years with a brain size of 880 cc. A decade later, they found the now famous “Turkana Boy” which is renowned for its almost complete skeleton. This skeleton was a huge aid in assessing overal body proportions and relationships of the species. This boy stood more than 5 feet tall when he died, and would have exceeded 6 feet had he lived to maturity. His cranial capacity was 880 cc and his body stature (tall, thin, long arms and legs) are typical of humans adapted to open, tropical environments. (1) The height of Homo erectus was approximately 1.3-1.7 meters with a robust, but human skeleton. (1) The skull was flat, thick skull with large occipital and brow ridge and with large teeth, much larger than Homo habilis.
Homo erectus show the progression of characteristics that has so far culminated at modern humans. These fossils showed an increase in cranial capacity to about 900 cm3, quite advanced when compared to the 500 - 800 cm3 shown in slightly earlier Homo. Homo erectus also showed a progression toward a larger body size, with an increase in height and weight. More specifically, the cranium of Homo ...
The cranial capacity of Homo erectus was from 950-1200cc. The brain of Homo erectus was larger than the brain of Homo habilis, which allowed them to do more activities. The teeth shape was shovel shaped incisors, which led to the need of softer food. From some finds in China and the shape of the teeth that were found it can be concluded that Homo erectus were cooking their food, and were generally transferring their diet to softer food. From looking at the anatomy of Homo erectus, we can notice that they had the right anatomy to produce speech.(2) Homo erectus in general had a good brain capacity and there was an expanded speech center in the brain. Homo erectus made tools on a large scale. They used fire, and they hunted with advanced methods. Activities such as these require planning, and planning is dependent on language.
From this evidence, it is certain that Homo erectus had some kind of language knowledge. Gradually, Homo erectus became more like modern man. This transition took place at different times in different areas. (2) Definitely the specie of Homo erectus in our direct ancestor, this can be seen from the stature of Homo erectus, their brain development and their cultural development such as tool use, the use of fire, the fact that they stored some herbs and food for cold seasons. There is a theory that Homo erectus evolved into two groups the Homo sapiens and the Neanderthal people. On the following page can be viewed the map of where the fossils were found, a picture of what Homo erectus might have looked like and the most complete picture of fossils that were found.
(1) (2) (3) (2) Bibliography. Homo erectus http://www.geocities.com/palaeoanthropology/Herect us.html The evolution of human language http://www.ling.gu.se/projekt/sprakfrageladan/engl ish/sprakfakta/eng-human-lang.html The evolution of human beings http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo/homo_2%20.htm.
The Homo erectus lineage consisted of the first human beings that controlled fire, or pyro technology, to sustain life. In this case fire was their lifeline, and without it there may not have been the continuation of human life as we know it. Physical evidence of fire making preserved at early sites of Homo erectus caves proved they were able to contain and control the flames. Origins of fire ...