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Indonesia is the overlooked birthplace of professional paleoanthropology. In Europe in the mid-19th century, scientists discovered an extinct hominid species for the first time: Neanderthals. Actually, itís more accurate to say Neanderthal fossils were found by lay people who then brought them to the attention of well-known anatomists. It wasnít until 1890 that a researcher went into the field looking for hominid bones. Eugene Dubois, a Dutch medical doctor, traveled to Indonesia, then a Dutch colony, in search of human ancestors. In 1891, he discovered Homo erectus fossils and made hominid hunting a proper endeavoróand made Asia a destination for paleoanthropologists.
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