Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Bettis, E. Arthur, III

First Committee Member

Ciochon, Russell

Second Committee Member

Dorale, Jeffrey

Third Committee Member

Finzel, Emily

Fourth Committee Member

Reagan, Mark


The early human paleoanthropological site at Ngandong, Central Java, Indonesia has significant impact on the models for human migration and evolution out of the African continent. Located on an abandoned stream bank above the Solo River, Ngandong archaeological digs have uncovered fourteen Homo erectus fossils that, based on their unique shape, are believed to have lived more recently than any other known examples of Homo erectus. However, this hypothesis has not been substantiated by previous studies at Ngandong due to a general lack of understanding about the formation of the site as a whole. This study seeks to overcome the limits of these previous studies by thoroughly examining the grain size, grain shape, mineralogy, geochemistry, and stratigraphy of the site to understand how it formed, and in turn, provide a necessary geological context to the Ngandong Homo erectus fossils. The results outlined in this dissertation suggest the fossil-bearing layers were deposited at the site (at the time a channel bottom) over a short period of time and were sourced from the volcanic arc that forms the southern portion of Java island.


environment, fluvial, geoarchaeology, Homo erectus, paleoanthropology, Quaternary


xiv, 249 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-249).


Copyright © 2018 Maija Eliina Sipola

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