Paleontologist Sutanto, a professor without a degree from Sangiran site

Tinuku ~ Professor without the title sought by researchers at Sangiran, an elderly man who knows very well the names of ancient human and animal fossils. Sutanto, born 62 years ago, is a professor without a degree who is well aware of Sangiran's ancient human sites in Sragen, Central Java, Indonesia.

Tinuku Paleontologist Sutanto, a professor without a degree from Sangiran site

Sutanto is the most senior of the many prehistoric Sangiran site guides and every day, there are international researchers looking for the bald-headed man. A charismatic and forest guide casually talks about archeology, geology and paleontology by wearing simple t-shirts, shorts and rubber slippers.

It all started after discovering ancient human fossils in the yard of his house. Young Sutanto immediately thought his village kept a valuable piece of history from the mysteries of human civilization in the world. The science of purity is never done from school, Sutanto only graduated from Junior High School.

"I've never been to school, I'm just farmer from a poor family, I've been working with professors since I was a kid," Sutanto said.

Sangiran sites are recorded in prestigious scientific works within 15 kilometers to the north of Surakarta City. Eugene Dubois was the first Dutch anatomist to explore in Sangiran in 1893. The trail was followed by a German paleontologist G.H.R von Koenigswald in 1930.

Sangiran is an area in the Solo Basin, a dome eroded by water in Kali Jambe sub-District, Sragen Regency, Central Java. It was originally a seabed elevated by tectonic forces into a swamp. Sangiran land several times changed due to the tsunami, erosion and volcano erupted.

Various natural disasters create a multi-layered soil and at least there are eight layers. Each layer represents the life of millions to thousands of years ago for a variety of sea creatures, beaches, swamps to the land all collected in Sangiran.

Sangiran called the researchers kept history since the late Pliocene to Middle Plistocene between 2 million and 200,000 years ago. In a land area of 56 square kilometers has been found more than 60 individuals of ancient humans or more than 50 percent of all discoveries in the world. The old layer is very rare natural laboratory as one of the centers of human evolution.

"Sangiran people do not know the fossils. They regard the ancient bones as ordinary. They do not know that it's the bones of an elephant, a human or anything," Sutanto said.

"The discovery of the P2 fossils in Bapang's formation when Koenigswald spread the money and fed the chickens to all the citizens in search of other bone fragments. When residents find fossils, Koenigswald selects them. I last met Koenigswald in 1976," Sutanto said.

The change of views that residents have about the existence of the fossil in Sangiran occurred when Koenigswald came not only for the sake of research, but also explained every detail and persuaded people to search for fossils and deposit whatever was found.

"I know bones from deer, elephants and hippos from my father and grandfather who helped for years Koenigswald. I worked for Naotune Watanabe team, Fachroel Aziz, Darwin Kadar and Mitsuru Aimi in 1976-179. But before I already familiar with Teuku Jacob and Sartono," said Sutanto. Paleontologist Sutanto, a professor without a degree from Sangiran site

"On geology, I learned when I became Hisao Kumai's guide in the CTA-41 Project in 1977-1979 for excavation of formations in Kalibeng, Pucangan, Notopuro and etc. We collected rock types," Sutanto said.

Not only likes, there is also grief Sutanto felt when guiding the researchers. Sutanto recalls as a guide of Japanese researchers when to extract fossils of ancient elephants. The science-hungry young Sutanto does not get paid and gets unhappy treatment from a researcher.

"This researcher is very grumpy. I had to carry the big, heavy ancient elephant fossils to walk four kilometers. If fossils fall, I get a blow," Sutanto said.