The cast of the controversial Liang Bua 1 hobbit was unveiled to the public on Tuesday at a special symposium at Stony Brook University in New York. The buzz is certainly exciting in the US, but it should be noted that many Indonesian and Malaysian colleagues are highly skeptical of the Hobbit representing a new species – partly from nationalistic sensibilities as well as religious ones (which is probably why you don’t hear a lot about them in the media). For now the published evidence tends to suggest that the Hobbit represents a new species rather than a deformed human, but I’d just like to highlight the disparity in opinion in the local scene.
Public Lecture: Hobbits in Context: Hominin Biogeography in Island South East Asia (2009 Mulvaney Lecture)
Prof Mike Morwood of the Wollongong University is giving this year’s Mulvaney Lecture at the Australian National University. He led the team that was responsible for the discovery of the Indonesian hobbit, or Homo Floresiensis.
2009 Mulvaney Lecture – Hobbits in Context: Hominin Biogeography in Island South East Asia
Lecture Theatre 1, Manning Clark Centre, Building 26a, Union Court
Australian National University, Canberra
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Finding evidence for a tiny, new species of human on the island of Flores in Indonesia was unexpected, but no more so than evidence for hominins on the island by 880,000 years ago. This lecture will explain why, with reference to the dispersal and evolutionary histories of other terrestrial animals in island Southeast Asia. It will conclude with some of the implications for early hominin and modern human biogeography in the region.
This edition of rojak is an eclectic mix of tantalizing speculations about the hobbit’s role in linguistics, videos from Java and lego archaeology.
Despite its small size, anthropologist Dean Falk says that the endocast of LB1’s brain indicates complex features similar to humans which may indicate mental capabilities like tool making.
photo credit: ideonexus
Hobbit brain small, bur organized for complex intelligence
Science News, 03 April 2009
A replica of the contentious ‘hobbit’ fossils will be unveiled in April at the human evolution symposium at Stony Brook University.
Alien from Earth is a PBS program broadcast last November about the famous Flores hominin, Flo. Watch the program online and check out the minisite here. The site also features a Q&A with Mike Morwood, one of the discoverers of the hobbit, and a teacher’s guide.
Everything you wanted to know about the Hobbit under one roof. Stony Brook University is holding a one-day public symposium, convened by palaeoanthropologist Richard Leakey and hosted by the Turkana Basin Institute. The symposium will feature a who’s-who list of researchers presenting the latest on the Hobbit research and the debate.
Hobbits in the Haystack: Homo floresiensis and Human Evolution
Seventh Human Evolution Workshop
21 April 2009
Stony Brook University
Registration details at the Turkana Basin Institute
Top minds in ‘Hobbit’ debate gather at Stony Brook University
Science Centric, 07 February 2009
You know it’s a sign of hobbit-fatigue when a new claim about the hobbit pops up, and all you can say is, “…uh-huh.” This new claim swings the pendulum back to the “new species” camp, after a new study compared the cranial morphology of the hobbit with a simulated 3D model of a hominid with the same size. The correlations in the 3D model seem to indicate that the hobbit fits the parameters of a small hominid rather than a human, deformed or otherwise.
Of course, this is not the last we are going to hear about the issue. I doubt detractors are going to accept the hobbit-as-a-separate thesis on the basis that the hobbit’s cranium fits the prediction by a computer model. Incidentally, the Journal of Human Evolution has a whole series of papers published around the same time about the Flores skeletons and archaeological material, including descriptions of the Hobbit skeletons.
‘Hobbit’ Fossils Represent A New Species, Concludes Anthropologist
Science Daily, 17 Dec 2008
Size, shape, and asymmetry in fossil hominins: The status of the LB1 cranium based on 3D morphometric analyses
Journal of Human Evolution, 04 December 2008
On this week’s rojak, we feature hobbit commentaries from last week’s criticism of the Palau hobbits was published, as well as posts about Singapore and Cambodia.
National Archives of Singapore
Professor Colin Groves will be giving a talk on the Flores Hominid, aka fomo floresiensis, aka the hobbit later this month in September. Do give a visit, if you’re in the vicinity of the Australian National University.
Speaker/Host: Professor Colin Groves
Venue: Manning Clark Theatre 6
Date: Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Time: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Enquiries: Wendy Lees on 040 652 6332