Harold Berghuis

Harold Berghuis

The geology of Indonesia is an interplay of volcanism, tectonism, climate change and sea-level fluctuations. The coastal zone and floodplains of rivers are continuously subject to change and the geological record in such areas is complex. But, these are also the areas that hold the most important fossil localities, providing insight into the development of the Pleistocene fauna, which includes Homo erectus. How old are these fossils? And what were the living conditions of these species? These are the questions that I hope to answer.

Key words

Geology, paleontology, Indonesia, Java, Pleistocene, Homo erectus

Harold Berghuis MSc

Marine Biodiversity

+31 (0)641035243
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The fossils of Homo erectus displayed in Naturalis were found in 1891 by Eugene Dubois in Trinil on the island of Java. With a team of Indonesian and Dutch researchers we make a detailed reconstructions of the historic excavation site.

I also look at other finding spots, on Java and off-shore. How are these localities related? And what does the geology tell us about the regional landscape development?

Newly collected fossils
Pleistocene shallow marine sediments near Perning


Geology and paleontology of the Java Sea: submerged Sundaland.

Homo erectus dispersal over SE Asia



  • Berghuis et al., 2021. Hominin homelands of East Java, revised stratigraphy and landscape reconstructions of Plio-Pleistocene Trinil. Quaternary Science Reviews 260 (2021)
  • Berghuis et al. (2019): Plio-Pleistocene foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the eastern Kendeng Zone (Java, Indonesia): the Marmoyo and Sumberingin Sections. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 528 (2019), 218 - 231

All publications



    The historic excavation site in Trinil (Java).

    Dubois site


    Tutor for the course Human Evolution (Maastricht University, prof. Josephine Joordens)