The first fossils of a human ‘missing link’ were uncovered in Java in the 1890s by Eugene However, prior to the spectacular discovery of Homo erectus in Trinil in Java, Dubois spent several years working in caves in the Padang Highlands, western Sumatra, looking for his elusive ‘missing link’. Despite several significant fossil assemblages recovered from caves in the area, Dubois left Sumatra disappointed with its records. Since then, many of the cave sites noted by Dubois have been lost. Recent and ongoing work in the Sumatran Padang highlands have begun to highlight the significance of these deposits and what they can tell us about Pleistocene environments occupied by early humans on the island, as well as some of the difficulties in working in these settings. This presentation will outline some of the work we’ve conducted on the island in collaboration with colleagues from the Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia, and what we’ve learnt about the cave deposits excavated by Dubois almost 150 years ago.


About the presenters

Julien Louys is a vertebrate palaeontologist and palaeoecologist. He is currently Deputy Director of the Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution at Griffith University. His research interests includes Australian marsupial palaeontology, community ecology of mammal fossil assemblages, and hominin and large mammal palaeoecological research, with a focus on the Quaternary. Julien is working in Sumatra as part of his ARC Future Fellowship.


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For Working Papers enquiries, contact: j.kariwiga@uq.edu.au

About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.