Homo erectus ("upright man") is an extinct species of hominid that lived about 1.3 to 1.8 million years ago. The species originated in Africa and spread as far as India, China and Java. It is debated that it may be identical to Homo ergaster, which is commonly accepted as the direct ancestor of modern humans.
White skin developed in Europe only as recently as 8,000 years ago ~ Based on 83 human samples from Holocene Europe as analyzed under the 1000 Genomes Project, we now know that for the majority of the time that humans have lived in Europe, the people had dark skin, and the genes signifying light skin only appear within the past 8,000 years. This recent and relatively quick process of natural selection suggests that the traits which spread rapidly were advantageous within that environment.