Skip to comments.Hobbits May Be Earliest Australians
Posted on 12/07/2005 3:01:40 PM PST by blam
Hobbits may be earliest Australians
Carmelo Amalfi and Leigh Dayton
December 08, 2005
THE tiny hobbit-like humans of Indonesia may have lived in Australia before they became extinct about 11,000 years ago.
The startling claim comes from archaeologist Mike Morwood, leader of the team that in 2003 uncovered remains of the 1m-tall hominid at Liang Bua cave on Indonesia's Flores island.
They believe the pint-size person - known officially as Homo floresiensis and unofficially as the "Hobbit" - was wiped out by a volcanic eruption that spared their Homo sapiens neighbours.
Speaking at a public lecture in Perth, Professor Morwood from the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, raised the prospect that Hobbits colonised Australia before Aboriginal settlers arrived about 60,000 years go.
He suggested that the Hobbits may have been pushed out by the bigger people, in part because their population was too small to compete.
"This is seriously being discussed now by the archaeological community in Australia as a result of our work in Indonesia," Professor Morwood said.
He suggested that further field work at sites in Indonesia and northern Australia could provide answers.
But one of Professor Morwood's colleagues on the discovery team was surprised by the notion of Hobbits in Australia. "It's the first I've heard about it," said Bert Roberts, a dating expert with the University of Wollongong.
"Call me a wet blanket, but I'm not sure where Mike thinks he's going to excavate."
Professor Roberts said conditions during the north Australian wet season meant that small, ancient remains were unlikely to have survived.
He noted that no early human remains have been unearthed in northern Australia and said that even the remains of the giant prehistoric animals, the mega-fauna, were scarce.
"Realistically, there's one cave on the planet with the remains of this species. How about looking some place close to Liang Bua cave," Professor Roberts said.
"Australia is a wild conjecture."
There is also the troubling question of how the Hobbits would have travelled south from their Indonesian homeland. To date, there's no hard evidence they could sail or raft.
Professor Morwood's surprising suggestion follows a recent report in the journal Nature that the team has been denied exploration permits to excavate at Liang Bua cave, although other sites are approved.
"We're waiting for the dust to settle," said Professor Roberts, referring to a long-running dispute with Indonesia's senior paleoanthropologist, Teuku Jacob of Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta.
Professor Jacob, who temporarily snatched the Hobbit remains, claimed the creature was a deformed human and wished to work at the cave to prove his point.
Huh? It's my understanding that Flores was/is an island before, during and after the Ice Age.
Photos needed... :)
This gets posted from time to time :~D
Another theory is that their hole was taken out by a thermobarbaric nuke...
How ironic that Hobbits may have been the first Australians, but it was a Kiwi that made the movies!
Appear to be adult teeth, but I am no dentist, so that's not a juvenile.
Exactly - to be in Australia proper they would have needed some means of getting to or from there...
Lovely theory of his, but I just can't see what he's basing it on apart from wishful thinking as the other fellow said...
But there were some survivors, they made it to New Zealand. I have three movies that can prove this.
Tiny, hobbit like humans? Extinct? No, no, they live and whine in France, Germany and Spain. Oh, yeah!
They got to the island somehow. That's evidence, but I suppose it would be called "soft", even though it seems fairly decisive to me.
Or an extraterrestrial.
What would be the diminutive of "pygmy"? "Pygmalion"?
It's my understanding that Flores was/is an island before, during and after the Ice Age.That's also my understanding. It's been an island for more than 800,000 years, the date of some stone tools left by Erectus, or hey, who knows, maybe the Halflings.
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They might have been crazed blood thirsty hobbits.
Current issue of Discover reports that Penn. State U. researchers have concluded "Homo floresiensis is not a valid new human species." Article says that some consider the bones to be those of a "pygmy...who had microcephaly."
What are the odds of anyone finding, among the very few human fossils ever found, a pinhead pygmy? However, it seems the fellow who found this specimen won't be permitted by the Indonesian govt to return to find another one.
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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