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 workforce of Australian and Indonesian anthropologists led via Mike Morwood and Raden Pandji Soejono shocked the area 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 used to be no production of Tolkien's fable, even if, yet a tool-using, fire-making, cooperatively looking individual. The extra Morwood and his colleagues published concerning the locate, the extra extraordinary it grew to become: status in basic terms 3 toes tall with brains a bit higher than a can of cola, the Hobbits pressured anthropologists and everybody to think again what it potential 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 validated that usually the lifetime of a true archaeologist could be a bit like Indiana Jones's whilst 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 that may be obtuse or even spiteful, and while the Hobbits grew to become embroiled in medical controversy—as no locate of such significance may well 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 technological know-how, as soon as brightened, is hard to dim, and the tale of the indefatigable Morwood's struggle to safeguard his locate discovery is an proposal.

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

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But we kept digging and hit a thick deposit of white tuffaceous silt from a major volcanic eruption that had somehow been washed into the cave in large quantities. Sure enough, the ash was sterile, silent. But then immediately below the silt the deposits became noisy again—very noisy. Here were high concentrations of the bones and teeth of Stegodon associated with masses of distinctive stone artifacts. This was the first time that Stegodon remains had been found inside a cave in Indonesia, and eventually we were to recover skeletal parts of at least 47 individuals.

He was somber, and with bloodshot eyes he often seemed to have overindulged in his product. Ginus would squat all day in the blazing sun, methodically smashing up lumps of rock with a hammer, then sorting through the debris to extract artifacts and fossils ranging in size from bits and pieces of Stegodon right down to tiny rat bones and Komodo dragon teeth. The families of the rajah, Musa Bali and the brothers at Wolo Wavu were all related in ways we never really understood and, away from our shared work, site recording, surveys and excavations, we only caught glimpses of Nagakeo life.

This would be the first archaeological investigation of the Ngadha, who have stories about how their ancestors came to Flores and where they settled. We had a meeting with Ngadha elders at Wogo Baru to discuss excavation options and gauge their attitude to such research. Provided it was done with respect, community involvement and feedback, and with the proper sacrificial ceremonies beforehand, they were very supportive. In fact, they looked forward to the start of research on their history. Most of the men who spoke that evening were elderly, but there was one younger man, Siprianus Batesoro, dressed in traditional garb like the others.

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