The Java man is just like Lucy an example of an important excavation. You can find more information about the Java man on this page.
Eugène Dubois went to the former Dutch-Indies as an officer of health in 1887. Because he had had an interest for geology and palaeontology since his youth, he immediately started to search for fossils. First he worked on Sumatra and then he went to Java. Here he supervised the collecting of more than twelve thousand fossils from the area of the mountain Lawu. The fossils varied from fish to elephants and hippopotamuses, but fossils of anthropoids or early humans were not found.
The Dutch anatomist focused his attention on the banks of Solo near the village Trinil in 1890. In a bend of this river there were uncovered layers of sandstone and volcanic ashes by erosion. It seemed to be the proper place to discover fossils. Excavators discovered a humanlike fossilised tooth in September 1891. A month later they stored the upper part of a skull. The bone of the skull was thick and had such a curve that its brains could only be half as big as modern human brains. In the front of the skull, above the missing orbits, there were clear eyebrow bags. At first Dubois thought that the fossils belonged to a large, extinct type of chimpanzee. The team kept digging in the riverbanks. A year later they discovered a thigh-bone. It was discovered in the same sandstone layers, about fifteen meters upstream from the spot where the tooth and the skull had been discovered. Contrary to the antropoidlike skull the thigh-bone looked like a modern human thigh-bone. It was obvious that it belonged to an upright-walking creature. Dubois' first reaction was to attribute these discoveries to one individual, an upright-walking specimen of an extinct species of chimpanzees. He called it Anthropopithecus erectus provisionally (the erect walking humanlike anthropoid). Despite further excavations the team did not discover more than one other tooth. When Dubois published his descriptions and interpretations of the discoveries near Trinil in 1894, he had changed his opinion. The upright walking humanlike anthropoid's name was changed into Pithecanthropus erectus (erect walking anthropoid like human). Dubois stressed the other aspect. Recent investigations showed that the thigh-bone highly most likely is relatively young and that the fossils do not belong to one individual. The skull does belong to a humanlike, which clearly had passed the status of being anthropoid.