Skip to comments.Newly Found (Human) Species Goes Missing Again (Floresiensis)
Posted on 02/09/2005 11:31:13 AM PST by blam
Newly found species goes missing again
By Stephen Cauchi
February 10, 2005
The disputed Homo Floresiensis.
Photo: Robert Pearce
The remains of an extinct metre-high human species have become virtually as hidden as they were before their discovery last year rocked the world of palaeontology.
One of Indonesia's leading palaeontologists is refusing to hand back the remains to the team that found them on the Indonesian island of Flores.
As reported last year, Professor Teuku Jacob, of Gadjah Mada University, grabbed the remains of the seven creatures - dubbed "hobbits" - and locked them in his safe, refusing to let other scientists study them. He was not in the Australian-Indonesian team that found the bones, but was given them by an Indonesian team member.
Professor Jacob told the Australian press that he would return the bones on January 1. But The Age has learnt he has not done so and does not plan to.
Mike Morwood, of the University of New England, who led the expedition, has been in Indonesia trying to get the bones back. He said the director of Jakarta's Indonesian Centre for Archaeology, Tony Djubiantono, asked Professor Jacob to return the bones, to no avail.
On January 7, Professor Morwood told The Age that "Tony Djubiantono has just sent a letter to Jacob formally requesting their return, but has given him until February 1 to complete his analysis".
Come February 1, still no luck. "Tony Djubiantono phoned Jacob yesterday and demanded the return of the remains to the Centre for Archaeology in Jakarta. Jacob asked for another week," Professor Morwood said.
This week still nothing had happened. "No joy," Professor Morwood said. "Dr Tony Djubiantono has not long been in the position as director of the Centre for Archaeology and seems reluctant to really push things. There are a number of new publications and TV documentaries coming out in March (including the National Geographic special on 13th), which will put extra pressure on Jacob to comply."
Professor Jacob blasted the Australians last year on several fronts. The Australian (and world) consensus is that the "hobbits" are a separate human species, Homo floresiensis, which diverged from the modern human evolutionary line about a million years ago.
Not so, says Professor Jacob. They are just a pygmy form of modern human who suffered a brain-shrinking disease, he says. Moreover, the first skeleton found was not that of a female, as claimed by the Australians, but of a male. And to cap it off, he claimed the Indonesian half of the team was not given due credit for its part in the find.
Studying the bones is extremely important as they may harbour vital DNA clues and other evidence about the ancestry of Homo floresiensis and the way they lived.
Professor Jacob has a history of doing things like this. Team member Bert Roberts, of Wollongong University, said last year that Professor Jacob had a record of "very carefully curating fossils and letting very few other people look at them. We don't want to inflame the situation... otherwise maybe he'll poison the waters and we won't get back into Indonesia next year".
The team hopes to discover more skeletons in digs in Indonesia this year.
Paging Tom Daschle!
Why don't you just say it, the liberal wing of the democrat party.
The REAL DU UNDER GROUND!......
Didn't read it. Couldn't stop laughing when the caption attributes the 'PHOTO'
"Even in ancient days they were. as a rule, shy of 'The Big Folk', as they call us, and now they avoid us with dismay and are becoming hard to find,"
Maybe Gandolf can convince him to release the "hobbits" ; )
"....modern human who suffered a brain-shrinking disease, he says. Paging Tom Daschle!"
Anyone know if this 'brain-shrinking disease' has a name? I mean, other than B-S Disease?
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest -- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
Oh. You mean the democrat wing of the democrat party!
So is Jacob the Hawass of Indonesia?
Sounds like this discovery does not fit into "established" evolutionary dogma. I am sure that the bones will eventually disappear and the discovery will be forgotten. Oh like, oh so many discoveries that meet the same fate.
Yup, like Spirit Cave Man.
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