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Other fossils found near Java man

The remains of two (H. sapiens) individuals were recovered from Java 2 years prior to the Trinil (Java man) calotte.

These remains were discovered in a rock shelter close to the village of Wadjack in East Java (Theunissen, pg 41).

"Wadjak I" consists of a nearly complete skull and a broken mandible (Day, 1968, pg 248). Wadjak 1 is considered a female and has a cranial capacity of 1,550 cc (Day 1968, pg 248).

"Wadjak II" is a broken skull of a presummed male (Day, 1968, pg 248) with a cranial capacity of 1,650 cc (Day 1968, pg 248).

Both are dolichocephalic and heavily mineralized (Day, 1968, pg 248). .

"Wadjak 1" was discovered on October 24, 1888 B.D. Van Rietschoten, a mining engineer (Day, 1968, pg 247 / Theunissen pg 41). It was sent to C.P. Sluiter (curator of the Royal East Indies Scoiety of Natural Science), and then to Dubois (Theunissen pg 42).

The excavations resummed in June of 1890 (Theunissen pg 43). In September a new excavation uncovered a second skull and several fragments of the skeleton.

Wadjak II has a "definate chin" (Day, 1968, pg 248). No H. erectus specimen has this feature.

It was the opinion of Dubois that Homo wadjakensis (as he called it) was ancestral to both modern Tasmanians and modern Austrailian Aborigines (Shipman pg 350).

Did Dubois hide Wadjak?

Many people have claimed that Dubois purposely witheld publishing on the Wadjak skulls.

Lubenow (pg 102) quotes Sir Arthur Keith:
"There can be no doubt that if, on his return in 1894, [Dubois] had placed before the anthropologists of the time the ape-like skull from Trinil side by side with the great-brained skulls of Wadjak, both fossilised, both from the same region of Java, he would have given them a meal beyond the powers of their mental digestion."

Lubenow maintains that if Dubois had revealed the Wadjak fossils at the same time as Pithecanthropus (Java man) "his beloved Pithecanthropus would have never been accepted as the missing link" (Lubenow, pg 102).

While it is clear that the true human (Wadjak) skulls in the same region as H. erectus may have posed a problem for those believing in evolution, it is not clear that Dubois "hid" the discovery of Wadjak as is often claimed.

Lubenow asserts that Dubois made "no public announcement" about the Wadjack skulls until "thirty years after they were found" (Lubenow pg 101) and that by then the public had already embraced Java man as their primitive ancestor.

This oft repeated claim is not accurate, as Dubois had in fact published preliminary accounts of the Wadjak skulls in both 1890* and 1892 less than 2 years after the finds.

*C. Loring Brace states that Dubois had described Wadjak in a letter to Dr. Ph. Sluiter (director of the library and Museum in what was then "Batavia") "which was published in the Naturkundig Tijdschrift van Nederlandsch-Indie ["Journal of Natural History of the Dutch East Indies"] vol. 49 (1890) pp. 209-211."

This was also read at the Directors' Meeting on March 14, 1889. While the journal may not have had as extensive distribution as Nature, it is widely distributed in both Europe and the US.

By the end of 1920 Dubois had published on Wadjak and given a series of four presentations to the Royal Academy of Science in Amsterdam (Shipman, pg 350).

Where Lubenow errs is that he then concludes that since Java man and H. sapiens lived at the same time, then they must both be human (H. sapien).

The Wadjak skulls are fully human and Dubois recognized this (Shipman, pg 351). The Java man skullcap is not. Java man is a member or Homo erectus which is best described as an extinct, and complex ape.

"Today we know the Wadjak skulls date to about 10,000 years ago and are modern Homo sapiens." ("Ancestors" by Donald Johanson, Lenora, Johanson, and Blake Edgar pg 179)

Unlike the skulls of Homo erectus, the Wadjak is unmistakenly human (H. sapien) in form. Wadjak I has an expanded forehead which rises almost vertically above the orbits (H. erectus has a forehead which slopes in the typical ape pattern, even moreso than the fully human Neanderthals.)

The skulls from Wadjak also lack the projecting (prognathic) face of H. erectus.

Wadjak I also lacks the brow ridges which exemplify H. erectus.

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