via Science, 10 January 2020: A new paper in Science presents new dates of the volcanic ash in which the Sangiran Homo erectus fossils were found, and revises the 1.8 million age to between 1.3-1.5 million years.
The fossiliferous Sangiran dome in Central Java contains the oldest human remains in Southeast Asia and is thus considered to be one of the most important sites in human paleoanthropology. Researchers have discovered more than 100 hominid remains from at least three different early to middle Pleistocene hominid species (1). Although numerous dating studies have been conducted at this site, the accepted date of earliest hominin migration is controversial. On page 210 of this issue, Matsu’ura et al. (2) describe their combined use of uranium/lead (U/Pb) dating (crystallization age) and fission-track dating (volcano eruption age) on zircons from three key strata in the hominid-bearing layers of Sangiran.