Indonesian 'hobbit' challenges evolutionary theory

An update on the hobbit debate; Mike Morwood’s team is now expanding the search for the hobbit in the surrounding regions.


photo credit: Rosino

Indonesian ‘hobbit’ challenges evolutionary theory
AP, via Jakarta Post, 07 March 2010

The feud has played out in top scientific journals. But a growing consensus has emerged among experts on human origin that this is indeed a separate and primitive species that lived in relatively modern times – 17,000 to 100,000 years ago. The November issue of the highly respected Journal of Human Evolution was dedicated to the Flores findings and included a dozen studies that supported the hobbit as a new species.

The mounting evidence has prompted Australian archaeologist Mike Morwood and his team to expand their research to the Soa Basin on Flores and the nearby Indonesian island of Sulawesi to answer several questions: Who were the hobbit’s ancestors? Where did they come from? What were their interactions, if any, with the modern humans of the time? Why are they extinct?


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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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