Java Man, an early form of human whose remains have been found on the island of Java. The first remains of Java Man (a piece of jawbone and skull, and a complete upper leg bone) were found by Eugene Dubois, a Dutch paleontologist, in 1891. A complete skull and other bones were found during 1936–39. Many more remains have been found since. Most scientists date these remains from about 600,000 years to 1 million years ago. Java Man was about 5–1/2 feet (1.7 m) tall and walked erect. Java Man had prominent brow ridges, a retreating forehead, and powerful jaws. Brain size was about three-fourths that of modern humans.
Dubois gave Java Man the scientific name Pithecanthropus erectus, meaning “erect ape-man.” Paleontologists in the early 1950's abandoned Dubois's classification and grouped Java Man with Peking Man and several other prehistoric humans into a newly designated species called Homo erectus.