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The Many Faces of Wadjak Man

Paul Storm and Andrew J. Nelson
Archaeology in Oceania
Vol. 27, No. 1 (Apr., 1992), pp. 37-46
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40386932
Page Count: 10
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The Many Faces of Wadjak Man
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Abstract

In 1888, 'Wadjak Man' became the first fossil hominid to be found in southeast Asia. It has generally been believed (following Dubois 1922) that 'Wadjak Man' was ancestral to the Australian Aborigines. This view has been repeatedly challenged, mostly through differing interpretations of morphometric data. However, there have been three reconstructions of the Wadjak I skull and there are at least five sets of cranial measurements in the literature. A critical problem has been the fact that no absolute dates are available for this site. Faunal and elemental analyses can only suggest that the material is sub-recent Now that dates for the first occupation of Australia are well into the Pleistocene, the role of Proto-Australian for 'Wadjak Man' no longer appears tenable. Additional skeletal material excavated by Dubois from rockshelters in the Wadjak area has recently been described and may be of similar age to the original fossil. To securely place 'Wadjak Man' in southeast Asian prehistory a reevaluation of the attributes of fossil and modern hominid material and a reconsideration of many methods of analysis will be required.

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