Marie Eugène François Thomas
Dubois (28 January 1858 – 16 December 1940) was a Dutch anatomist.
world-wide fame for his discovery of Pithecanthropus erectus , or 'Java Man'.
born in Eijsden, Netherlands, Europe.
Although hominid fossils had been found and studied before, Dubois
was the first anthropologist to embark upon a purposeful search for
them. He was convinced that the origins of the human species must
be in the tropics. For this reason he joined the Dutch army in
the Dutch East
Indies (the Dutch colony that would later become
1886 and 1895, Dubois searched at potential sites near rivers and
in caves, first on the island of Sumatra, then on the
Indonesian island of Java.
In 1891, Dubois discovered remains of what he described as "a
species in between humans and apes". He called his finds
("ape-human which stood upright")
or Java Man
. Today, they are classified as
stood upright"). These were the first specimens of early hominid
remains to be found outside of Africa or
In 1895, Dubois returned to Europe and toured the continent to
convince his colleagues that he had indeed found a missing link.
Although most anthropologists were intrigued, they did not always
agree with Dubois' interpretations. After that, Dubois refused
others access to his fossils, until he was forced to do so in
the University of
Amsterdam awarded Dubois an honorary doctorate in botany and
zoology, but he had to wait until 1899 for a professorship.
In that year, he was appointed a professor in geology
, a function that did not keep him from his
research in anatomy
. He was also (from 1897
until 1928) keeper of paleontology,
geology and mineralogy at Teylers' Museum, where he also kept the H. erectus
Although the scientific debate slowly began to turn in his favour
in the 1920s and 1930s, he died embittered in 1940. He was buried in
paleontological collection and scientific archive remain at
Naturalis in Leiden.
- "Eugene Dubois". Retrieved on 2008-06-02 from
- Vos J. de (2004) The Dubois collection: a new look at an
old collection Scripta Geologica Special Issue 4 p. 267-285
- Pat Shipman, The Man who Found the Missing Link.
Eugène Dubois and His Lifelong Quest to Prove Darwin
Right, Harvard University Press (April 30, 2002), 528 pages,