The Man from Flores: Unraveling the Mystery of the Hobbits’ Existence
Hobbits are usually found feasting, drinking, gardening and destroying rings in Tolkien’s fictional Middle-earth. But in fact, ancient remains show that hobbit-sized humanoids once lived on the Indonesian island of Flores. Although researchers found artifacts such as stone tools, there was no evidence of dark lords or broken swords.
The ancient remains belonged to Homo floresiensis, also known as the hobbit of Flores or simply the hobbit. As more research goes into the Flores Hobbit, it leaves us with a few questions. It’s basic h. floresiensis still alive today?
According to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Historythe island of Flores may never have had a land bridge to allow the introduction of new species into the ecosystem.
During the Pleistocene (Ice Age) era, the island was home to a variety of creatures including Komodo dragons, giant tortoises, giant rodents and Stegodon — a prehistoric ancestor of the elephant.
Flores Man stone tools
In the 1950s and 1960s, Father Theodore Verhoeven, a Dutch Catholic priest, was living and working on the island when he began excavating and finding what he believed to be archaeological sites.
Having studied archeology while in college, Verhoeven was one of the first people to identify and report stone tools on the island, along with the Stegodon remains.
At first, Verhoeven and others believed that the stone chairs were left by Homo erectus from the nearby island of Java. After analyzing and dating sediment discovered in the 1990s, researchers began to believe that a humanoid – similar to H. erectus once inhabited the island.
In 2003, after almost three years of excavation of Liang Bua Cave, an Indonesian-Australian research team discovered a skull belonging to H. floresiensis.
Who discovered Homo floresiensis?
Archaeologist Wahue Saptomo guided Benjamin Tarus, a local laborer, as he cleaned the sediments until a skull began to emerge. With the help of Rokus Due Awe, an expert on fauna, and archaeologist Thomas Sutikna, they fully revealed the remains of the skull.
Because of the size of the brain cavity, researchers believe it is the skull of a child. But after analyzing the skull’s teeth and finding that they were all permanent, they concluded that it was the skull of an adult. Eventually, the partial remains of the skeleton were discovered and the researchers designated the specimen as LB1 (Liang Bua 1).
However, the research team did not have a physical anthropologist. asked Mike Morewood, one of the leaders of the research team Peter Brown, a paleoanthropologist at the University of New England in Australia, to join. Brown’s work helped give H. floresiensis his name.
According to 2004 study published by the research team at nature, LB1 was a 30-year-old woman nicknamed The Little Lady of Flores or Flo. According to the remains, H. floresiensis he would have been just under 4 feet tall.
The Hobbits of Flores Island
On first discovery, H. floresiensis the remains are dated 12,000 years ago, making their existence quite recent for human evolution. Some of the first evidence of Agriculture dating back to about 12,000 years ago. However, after reanalysisthe LB1 remains are closer in age to 100,000 to 60,000 years old, and the stone tools found are 190,000 to 50,000 years old.
Since the initial find in 2003, researchers have discovered others H. floresiensis specimens of Fr. Further analysis of their remains leads researchers to believe this H. floresiensis was more closely associated with H. erectus and Australopithecus afarensis — Also known as Lucy.
Is the hobbit from Flores still alive?
Today, researchers continue to learn H. floresiensis remains and any new specimens or artifacts they find on the island. Did H. floresiensis is still alive today is still up for debate.
In 2022, a retired anthropologist, Gregory Fort, claimed that there had been sightings of “ape-man” is considered to be H. floresiensis of Flores. Others who have studied hobbies from Flores disagree. They believe that on an island with a population of nearly 2 million people, there will be more frequent sightings of hobbits than Flores.
However, to survive there will need to be a large population on H. floresiensis to continue producing healthy offspring. With little or no evidence to prove the existence of this large population, it is unlikely that the Flores hobbit lives on the island today.
Read more: “Man from Flores Hobbits still alive” The first written words of ancient people are 20,000 years old