By Mike Morwood, Penny van Oosterzee

In October 2004, a crew of Australian and Indonesian anthropologists led through Mike Morwood and Raden Pandji Soejono shocked the realm with their statement of the invention of the 1st instance of a brand new species of human, Homo floresiensis, which they nicknamed the "Hobbit." This used to be no construction of Tolkien's fable, although, yet a tool-using, fire-making, cooperatively looking individual. The extra Morwood and his colleagues printed in regards to the locate, the extra extraordinary it grew to become: status purely 3 toes tall with brains a bit higher than a can of cola, the Hobbits compelled anthropologists and everybody to reassess what it capacity to be human. Morwood's paintings used to be no usual educational workout. alongside the way in which he needed to tread warily in the course of the cultural panorama of Indonesia—he has an embarrassing mishap with a few hard-to-chew pork—and he verified that typically the lifetime of a true archaeologist could be a bit like Indiana Jones's while he risked his neck in an ocean-going raft to adventure how old Indonesians may need navigated the archipelago. much more, Morwood needed to navigate the rock shoals of an archaeological forms which may be obtuse or even spiteful, and while the Hobbits turned embroiled in clinical controversy—as no locate of such importance may avoid—it proved effortless for Morwood to get approximately swamped with hassle. reveals have been stolen and broken, and the backbiting used to be fierce. however the gentle of technology, as soon as brightened, is hard to dim, and the tale of the indefatigable Morwood's struggle to protect his locate discovery is an proposal.

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Extra resources for A New Human: The Startling Discovery and Strange Story of the ''Hobbits'' of Flores, Indonesia

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Soejono eventually excavated a total of 10 squares, or sectors, at Liang Bua, and uncovered a spectacular cultural sequence. In fact, it is the only excavated site in Indonesia so far to yield evidence for Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Metal Age occupation. This evidence included artifacts of stone, bone, shell and metal; pottery; burials with grave goods; and a wealth of well-preserved animal remains. Soejono excavated to a maximum depth of 425 centimeters, reaching some 10,000 years into the past—to the onset of present-day climatic conditions, an epoch termed the Holocene, s to r i e s f r o m c o l d c av e | 35 when farming and the first stirrings of what we call “civilization” began.

18 | a new human tuff for FT dating. Paul O’Sullivan, an expert in the technique then at La Trobe University in Melbourne, found that the pink tuff underlying the deposits of fossils and artifacts was 880,000 years old, while an overlying white tuff was about 800,000 years in age. Verhoeven had also been right about the approximate age of Mata Menge! People did make it to Flores by at least 800,000 years ago and possibly even earlier, long before most other researchers thought it humanly possible.

There is enough space to excavate, sieve what we dig, process finds, store bamboo and timber for shoring, ladders and tables and set aside areas for resting and eating, all without having to step out into the tropical heat. When things are running well, there is a quiet, busy hum about the work—the distant clatter of the generator set up outside the cave provides electric lighting to the diggings; the sound of people who know their jobs quietly getting on with them; the movement of bucket carriers shuttling from the excavation to the weighing scales and sieves; conversations around the benches set up for eating; preliminary analysis of finds and writing of reports.

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