Sangiran Early Man Site, Central Java

When traveling to Solo, leave plenty of time for sightseeing – you wouldn’t want to miss out on top attractions like Sangiran Early Man Site.  The Sangiran area is one of the major sites for the recovery of early human fossils, in particular “Home Erectus”, and has played a key role in our understanding of human evolution. Sangiran is located ~15kms north of the central Java city of Surakarta (nickname, which is usually used, Solo). Since 2012 there has been a large and modern museum to house and display the fossils discovered, and to explain the nature and importance of the site to the public.

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Sangiran Early Man Site is situated about 15 kilometers in the north of Solo town in Central Java, Indonesia, covering an area of 5,600 hectares. It became famous after the discovery of Homo erectus remains and associated stone artifacts (well-known as Sangiran flake industry) in the 1930s. There is a very significant geological sequence from the upper Pliocene until the end of Middle Pleistocene by depicting the human, faunal, and cultural evolutions within the last 2.4 million years. The property also yields important archaeological occupation floors dating back to the Lower Pleistocene around 1.2 million years ago.

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The macrofossils that appear abundantly from the layers provide a detailed and clear record of many faunal elements, while the property reveals more than 100 individuals of Homo erectus, dating back to at least 1.5 million years ago. These fossils show human evolution process during the Pleistocene period, particularly from 1.5 to 0.4 million years ago. Inhabited for the past one and a half million years, Sangiran is one of the key sites for the understanding of human evolution. More discoveries of stone tools have been made since. These human, fauna, and stone tool materials were deposited within its unbroken stratigrafical layers.

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Not only has the Sangiran site contributed to the understanding of the family tree of mankind, it has also thrown much light the evolution of culture, of animals, and of the ancient environment. Large quantities of human and animal fossils, along with Palaeolithic tools, have been found on the Sangiran site in a geological-stratigraphical series that has been laid down continuously for more than 2 million years. This property illustrates the sequences of human, cultural, and environmental evolutions over two million years by means of the cultural materials from their original layers, which show specific periods and environments.

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