UO archaeologists cast doubt on controversial ‘hobbit’ theory

I remember posting about the Palau hobbits 10 (!) years ago when the story came out, and how there was a lot of dispute about it (see here, here and here). Now a new paper in Antiquity disproves this claim of island dwarfism leading to a ‘hobbit’ population living in Palau.

Remains found on a Pacific island were just small humans, Scott Fitzpatrick contends

Source: UO archaeologists cast doubt on controversial ‘hobbit’ theory

See also:

Job: Archaeological Education Outreach Specialist (Palau)

The Peace Corps is hiring! A one-year appointment as an Archaeological Education Outreach Specialist in Palau starting January next year. If you’re interested, apply here:

https://sjobs.brassring.com/TGWEbHost/jobdetails.aspx?partnerid=25332&siteid=5174&AReq=3839BR

From Guam, Saipan and Palau Islands

Larry Myers

Larry Myers
Here is a photo of WW2 Japanese items I found on the Pacific Islands. Japanese Army Helmet with star still attached found on Palau Islands. Japanese canteen with bullet hole in it came from Saipan Island. Old beer and medicine bottles found in caves on Peleliu Island, Republic of Palau. Japanese Rice/Food bowl and cup with Japanese markings on bottom found on Peleliu Island, Republic of Palau. U.S. Navy officers coffee cup found on Guam on Battle field site.

More "Hobbits" found, in Micronesia now

Following the suggestion from last week’s controversial paper about the nature of the Flores Hobbits comes a new discovery that may argue that the Hobbits are just really small humans. Fossil remains found in the Micronesian island of Palau have displayed some similarities to the so-called homo floresiensis fossils found in 2004. The open-access study was published in the Public Library of Science journal, PLoS ONE. There’s apparently a National Geographic documentary about the skeletons to be released on March 17, but I don’t think it’ll be out in Asia.


View Larger Map

Small-Bodied Humans from Palau, Micronesia
Lee R. Berger, Steven E. Churchill, Bonita De Klerk, Rhonda L. Quinn

Abstract:
Newly discovered fossil assemblages of small bodied Homo sapiens from Palau, Micronesia possess characters thought to be taxonomically primitive for the genus Homo.
Background

Recent surface collection and test excavation in limestone caves in the rock islands of Palau, Micronesia, has produced a sizeable sample of human skeletal remains dating roughly between 940-2890 cal ybp.

Principle Findings

Preliminary analysis indicates that this material is important for two reasons. First, individuals from the older time horizons are small in body size even relative to “pygmoid” populations from Southeast Asia and Indonesia, and thus may represent a marked case of human insular dwarfism. Second, while possessing a number of derived features that align them with Homo sapiens, the human remains from Palau also exhibit several skeletal traits that are considered to be primitive for the genus Homo.

Significance

These features may be previously unrecognized developmental correlates of small body size and, if so, they may have important implications for interpreting the taxonomic affinities of fossil specimens of Homo.
Continue reading “More "Hobbits" found, in Micronesia now”