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Homo erectus (meaning "upright man", from the Latin ērigere, "to put up, set upright") is an extinct species of hominid that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene geological epoch. Its earliest fossil evidence dates to 1.9 million years ago and the most recent to 70,000 years ago. It is generally thought that H. erectus originated in Africa and spread from there, migrating throughout Eurasia as far as Georgia, India, Sri Lanka, China and Indonesia. But other scientists posit that the species rose first, or separately, in Asia.
There is also another view—an alternative to 1): some palaeoanthropologists consider H. ergaster to be a variety, that is, the "African" variety, of H. erectus, and they offer the labels "Homo erectus sensu stricto" (strict sense) for the Asian species and "Homo erectus sensu lato" (broad sense) for the greater species comprising both Asian and African populations.
A new debate appeared in 2013, with the documentation of the Dmanisiskulls. Considering the large morphological variation among all Dmanisi skulls, researchers now suggest that several early human ancestors variously classified, for example, as Homo ergaster, or Homo rudolfensis, and perhaps even Homo habilis, should instead be designated as Homo erectus.