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Iowa Scientists Determine Period For Human Ancestor

Micaela Parente
Homo erectus, one of modern humans’ direct ancestors, was a wandering bunch. After the species dispersed from Africa about 2 million years ago, it colonized the ancient world, which included Asia and possibly Europe.";

Homo erectus evolved around 2 million years ago, and was the first known human species to walk fully upright.

After Homo erectus dispersed from Africa, the species colonized the ancient world.  Then, about 400,000 years ago, Homo erectus essentially vanished, with the lone exception of an Indonesian island.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Russell Ciochon about his journey to the Indonesian Island of Java, where he and a team of researchers pinned down the dates for the last of the Homo erectus species.


  • Russell Ciochon, professor of anthropology at the University of Iowa



Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa