The Hobbit debate rages on

Debate about the hobbit continues at the recent American Association of Physical Anthropologists meeting.

Hobbit debate goes out on some limbs
Science News, 19 April 2010

This new twist in the hobbit controversy follows the March 17 online publication of a paper in Nature concluding that hominids reached Flores by 1 million years ago. Excavations on Flores yielded stone tools from sediment dating to that time, reported Adam Brumm of the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Brumm previously uncovered 800,000-year-old stone artifacts on Flores (SN: 6/3/06, p. 341). He now suspects hominids reached the island as early as 2 million years ago.

Brumm’s contention has been challenged by colleagues who believe natural processes may have moved the artifacts from younger to older sediment layers.

Earthquakes and flooding are two of many possible ways in which stone artifacts could have been moved on Flores, noted James Phillips of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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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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