Abstract

The history of the discoveries of Early Man in Indonesia has been marked by bold speculations and surprising successes alternating with frustrated hopes and discouraging lulls from the time when the first explorer in search of his remains set foot on Java's soil. This explorer was Eugène Dubois. He came to the island in 1889 for the outspoken purpose of finding the “missing link” and—he found it. What particular considerations induced him to seek after such a creature—at this time rather an idea than á substantiality—on this seemingly forlorn outpost of the Asiatic continent, we do not know. Dubois never told what prompted, him to look for such a phantom in Indonesia. But the fact is that he quit his position at the Department of Anatomy of the University of Amsterdam and entered the military service of the Dutch colonies as a health officer. In April 1889, he was delegated to “extend his studies to the tertiary and diluvial fauna of Java.” From that year until 1895 Dubois explored all the localities known from earlier investigations to be particularly rich in fossil remains, and assembled from them a large collection of plants and animals.

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