You mean the Hobbit has cousins down south?

Mike Morwood, one of the discoverers of the Flores hobbit, is attempting to locate more dimunitive humans in Australia’s Northern Territory – but are there really hobbits to be found, or is this just a mountain out of a molehill?

Mike Morwood, Northern Territory News, 27 May 2008

Hobbit relative ‘live in NT’
Northern Territory News, 27 May 2008

So what’s the news here?

The archaeologist said the Hobbits, who were only about one metre tall and weighed just 30kg, existed on the remote island until about 12,000 years ago. And he believes they could have had relatives living in northern Australia.

Professor Morwood is leading a team of scientists tracking the spread of Homo floresiensis.

They are working in Timor and Sulawesi and will soon extend their research to the NT and northern Western Australia.

Yup, we’re hoping to find other hobbit specimens in nearby islands, we’ve clearing Indonesia now, and hopefully we’ll get to Australia soon. It’s hardly news! Best to file this under “I’ll believe it when I see it”. Given the current furore over the status of the hobbit as a new human species or some genetic anomaly, with many still undecided, we’ll just have to wait and see if there any new evidence pops up.

I don’t think we’ve properly figured out how humans got onto Australia in the first place.

Related books:
A New Human: The Startling Discovery and Strange Story of the “Hobbits” of Flores, Indonesia
Prehistory of Australia

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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