Sambungmachan is an archaeological site in Central Java, Indonesia, from which three crania have been recovered. The earliest finds consist of a nearly complete Homo erectus (Sm 1) cranium missing the face and part of the base, the central portion of a Homo erectus tibia, and numerous remains of Late Pleistocene mammals. The date of the skullcap and tibia fragment has proved impossible to determine. Based on its mineral content, it probably dates to the Late Pleistocene. The cranium is probably male, and has a cranial capacity of 1,100 cc. The skull is important because it shows a mixture of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens characteristics, such as a thick cranial bone, pronounced brow ridges, high forehead, and rounded brain case, that link it to the Homo sapiens of the Ngandong site and earlier Homo erectus specimens from the site of Sangiran. The tibia fragment was found years after the cranium. It is similar in morphology to other Homo erectus specimens, such as Kabwe in Africa and those found at Zhoukoudian in China.
Recently, a new cranium (Sm 3) was recovered that has been attributed to the Sambungmachan site based on its overall morphology. It was found among a collection of curiosities sold by an antiques dealer in Jakarta to a New York City antique dealer. The owner of the store took it to Eric Delson, a physical anthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History. Delson identified the skull as Homo erectus and similar in morphology to the known specimen from Sambungmachan (Sm 1). The probably male cranium, like the original Sambungmachan specimen, shows a mixture of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens traits. However, unlike Sm 1, the cranial capacity of Sm 3, is only 875 cc. Because it was found out of context, the age of the skull cannot be determined except in broad terms and is approximately 100,000 to 1.5 million years old.
In 2002, an additional cranium was found at Sambungmachan (Sm 4) by a local farmer while collecting sand. The skull is that of a middle-aged Homo erectus who suffered and recovered from two head wounds. Unlike the other two skull caps found at Sambungmachan, the morphology of the new cranium is similar to early Homo erectus from the sites of Trinil and Sangiran, which date from 1.2 to 1.8 million years ago.
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