Age and biostratigraphic significance of the Punung Rainforest Fauna, East Java, Indonesia, and implications for Pongo and Homo

K. E. Westaway*, M. J. Morwood, R. G. Roberts, A. D. Rokus, J. x. Zhao, P. Storm, F. Aziz, G. van den Bergh, P. Hadi, Jatmiko, J. de Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Punung Fauna is a key component in the biostratigraphic sequence of Java. It represents the most significant faunal turnover on the island in the last 1.5 million years, when Stegodon and other archaic mammal species characteristic of earlier Faunal stages were replaced by a fully modern fauna that included rainforest-dependent species such as Pongo pygmaeus (orangutan). Here, we report the first numerical ages for the Punung Fauna obtained by luminescence and uranium-series dating of the fossil-bearing deposits and associated flowstones. The Punung Fauna contained in the dated breccia is of early Last Interglacial age (between 128 ± 15 and 118 ± 3 ka). This result has implications for the age of the preceding Ngandong Fauna, including Homo erectus remains found in the Ngandong Terrace, and for the timing of Homo sapiens arrival in Southeast Asia, in view of claims for a modern human tooth associated with the Punung breccia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-717
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume53
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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