A New Human: The Startling Discovery and Strange Story of by Mike Morwood, Penny van Oosterzee

By Mike Morwood, Penny van Oosterzee

In October 2004, a group of Australian and Indonesian anthropologists led through Mike Morwood and Raden Pandji Soejono surprised the realm with their assertion of the invention of the 1st instance of a brand new species of human, Homo floresiensis, which they nicknamed the "Hobbit." This was once no construction of Tolkien's delusion, besides the fact that, yet a tool-using, fire-making, cooperatively looking individual. The extra Morwood and his colleagues published in regards to the locate, the extra fabulous it grew to become: status in simple terms 3 toes tall with brains a bit greater than a can of cola, the Hobbits pressured anthropologists and everybody to reassess what it ability to be human. Morwood's paintings used to be no usual educational workout. alongside the way in which he needed to tread warily throughout the cultural panorama of Indonesia—he has an embarrassing mishap with a few hard-to-chew pork—and he verified that usually 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 historical 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 whilst the Hobbits grew to become embroiled in clinical controversy—as no locate of such importance might avoid—it proved effortless for Morwood to get approximately swamped with difficulty. reveals have been stolen and broken, and the backbiting used to be fierce. however the mild of technology, as soon as brightened, is tough to dim, and the tale of the indefatigable Morwood's struggle to shield his locate discovery is an thought.

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

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Because digging any deeper is very dangerous and almost certainly illegal without shoring. There is, therefore, strong incentive for archaeologists to stop at 44 | a new human “culturally sterile” levels when artifact concentrations start to tail off rather than continue excavations to bedrock. One of the exceptions, Song Braholo in East Java, was excavated to a depth of seven meters without shoring, but they were lucky and got away with it. Given recent findings, such as the modern human tooth excavated from the 125,000-year-old Punung III breccia deposit in East Java, it seems likely that the much-quoted date for the arrival of modern humans in Southeast Asia—some 50,000 years ago—is largely an artifact of limitations in excavation strategy.

5 meters must, under the Excavation Code of Practice in Australia, be properly shored. It is a fact that, with a few exceptions, previous excavations in deeply stratified limestone caves in Southeast Asia have stopped at around three meters depth or less— Leang Burung 2 in Sulawesi, Tabon Cave in Palawan, Niah Cave in Sarawak, Tham Lod in northwest Thailand and Lang Rongrien in southern Thailand, to name but a few. Why? Because digging any deeper is very dangerous and almost certainly illegal without shoring.

But then at six meters’ depth, under a massive slab of fallen rock, Rokus found a small human radius (lower arm bone) that had an unusual bend to it. As our resident bone expert, he said that the radius was from an adult, but was puzzled by its size and curvature. In fact, it was so unusual that later in Bandung, where we went to get some of the bones identified, Professor Hisao Baba, an anatomist with the Natural Science Museum in Tokyo, initially thought that the radius might be from an orangutan.

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