Sangiran 17

-7.33, 110.97
Date min:
700,000 Bp
Date max:
800,000 Bp
Homo, Homo erectus
Time periods:
Calabrian, Pleistocene
Sangiran 17-02

Sangiran 17-02

Sangiran 17 is notable for being the most complete hominin skull found in Sangiran Site. This Homo erectus skull was found on September 13, 1969, by Mr. Towikromo, an inhabitant of Pucung village [1][2]. It was found 5m below the Middle Tuff of the Bapang (Kabuh) Formation [3][4] and dates to 0.7 to 0.8 my [5][6][7][8].


Sangiran 17 or Pithecanthropus VIII provides an almost complete skull vault. It is well fossilized and has a rusty brown color due to iron oxide, especially on its outer surface. The endocranial surface, however, is brownish-black. The skull, except for its crest between the lambda and the bregma and down towards the left linea parietalis, is encrusted by a sandstone matrix that is in part tuffaceous [1]

The right part of the skull crest was heavily damaged by a blow from an iron tool being used by Mr. Towikromo while cultivating his land [1]. The mandible was missing, and the left one-third of the upper face was broken off. The remaining portions of the face were also distorted considerably [9][10][2]. Due to the damage, it was reconstructed by several researchers [11][12][9][13][14][15][2]

The skull shows typical characteristics of an Asian Homo erectus from the Lower/Middle Pleistocene. The vault is long, wide, and low, with remarkable development of the superstructures. The vault is large, but the endocranial volume (1,004 cc [16]) is moderate due to the thickness of the bones. It has a thick brow ridge, a robust occipital torus, a clear bregmatic eminence, bulged supramastoid crests, and distinct temporal crests, which makes the vault outline rhombic in the lateral aspect and heptagonal in the occipital aspect. The frontal sinus is well developed in the medial half of the brow ridge [2].

Its face is wide and low. It exhibits large orbital openings, a low nasal bridge, a small nasal aperture, a swollen and flared right zygomatic bone, a considerably projected palate, and moderately sized teeth [17][10][2].       

Sangiran 17 is one of the chronologically younger Typical Homo erectus group, which has a larger cranial capacity of 1,000 cc compared to the older Archaic Homo erectus group which only has 870 cc [7]


Cited References

  1. 1.

  2. 2.

    Restoration of the Head and Face in Javanese Homo erectus Sangiran 17

    Bulletin of the National Science Museum. Series D. Anthropology 24

  3. 3.

    Age of Homo erectus from Java

    US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1275

  4. 4.

  5. 5.

  6. 6.

    Geology and stratigraphy of the Sangiran area. Quaternary Geology of the Hominid Fossil Bearing Formations in Java. In Report of the Indonesia-Japan Joint Research Project CTA-41, 1976-1979

    Republic of Indonesia, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Directorate General of Geology and Mineral Resources, Geological Research and Development Centre

  7. 7.

  8. 8.

    Legacy of the Islands. the PREHsea Project Exhibition Catalogue

    Managing Prehistoric Heritage in Southeast Asia (PREHSEA)

  9. 9.

    Regional Continuity in Australasian Pleistocene Hominid Evolution

    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 55(3)

  10. 10.

    Morphological study on the Javanese Homo erectus Sangiran 17 skull based upon the new reconstruction

    Publication of the Geological Research and Development Centre Paleontology Series 8

  11. 11.

  12. 12.

  13. 13.

  14. 14.

  15. 15.

  16. 16.

  17. 17.

This page was last edited on November 10, 2022 at 11:00:10 UTC