Search of Java Man

"In the year 1887 a young Dutchman named Eugene Dubois left the Netherlands on a ship bound for the East Indies. Born in 1858, Dubois had spent seven years studying medicine at the University of Amsterdam before taking up a teaching post there.

His chief interest, however, was the evolution theory which had been proposed by Charles Darwin some years earlier. Convinced that the most likely places to find fossilized remnants of mankind's early ancestors lay in tropical zones, Dubois quit his job at the university and joined the Dutch Colonial Army as a medical officer.

Arriving first in Sumatra, he was able to obtain financial support from the army and began excavating in a number of caves. Initial results, however, proved disappointing, since the fossils he discovered were too young to yield evidence of the 'missing link' for which he was searching.

Then he heard news of some exciting discoveries being made by van Rietschoten in the Wajak Mountains near Tulungagung in East Java. Moving from Sumatra, Dubois turned his attention to the region of Ngawi and in 1891 unearthed his first significant evidence, a skull cap and upper jaw molar, on the banks of the Solo River at Trinil.

He attributed the fossils to a type of ape which he named Anthropithecus. But eleven months later, in August 1892, he discovered a femur on the same level as the previous year's finds, which appeared to prove that the creature had walked upright.