Saturday, 2 September 2017

Hobbit – Where did they come from & where did they vanish?




They were discovered only in 2003. Hobbits’ were about 3 feet 6 inches tall and weighed approximately 30 kg, as estimated from a female skeleton. Where did Indonesia’s mysterious Homo Floresiensis, an extinct mini human species popularly known as hobbit, come from?...........

One must have read about the tiny pygmy tribe in the Phantom comics. It could be a figment of imagination of the author and illustrator. But it is true, they existed. Meet Homo floresiensis, also known as Hobbit lived in Asia, specifically Indonesia about 100,000-50,000 years ago. They were discovered only in 2003. Hobbits’ were about 3 feet 6 inches tall and weighed approximately 30 kg, as estimated from a female skeleton. Where did Indonesia’s mysterious Homo Floresiensis, an extinct mini human species popularly known as hobbit, come from? New findings from Australian study claim to end a popular theory about their origins and add yet another dimension to a decade old debate.

There are different theories about their arrival, existence and disappearance. The hobbit’s remains were first discovered in Flores, an island in Indonesia, in 2003. One popular theory is the hobbit descended from the larger Homo erectus – an extinct human species that occupied Asia. The theory is that members of the group, believed to be the first humans to stray out of Africa, reached Flores and shrank to just 1 meter tall because of the scarcity of resources on the island. Another theory is the hobbits were simply short members of Homo sapiens, our own species.

The new take on the subject based on the new findings say – The Australian National University (ANU) found the hobbits were most likely a sister species of Homo habilis, one of the earliest known species of humans found in Africa 1.75 million years ago and the first makers of stone tools. The findings say, one group of Homo habilis moved out of Africa 2 million years ago, much before Homo erectus did, and to Flores.

The ANU team led by Debbie Argue constructed the hobbit’s family tree. They also expanded the scope of their study, where previous research focused mostly on the skull and lower jaw; the new study used 133 data points ranging from the skull, jaws, teeth, arms, legs and shoulders. Debbie said, none of the data supported the theory that the hobbit evolved from the Homo erectus. She added, ‘It would be hard to understand how you could have that regression. Why would the jaw of the Homo erectus evolve back to   the primitive condition in Homo floresiensis.

But the question remains – what happened to the Hobbit? The species appears to have died out soon after Homo sapiens left Africa 60,000 years ago and walked into Asia. A possible clash between the two might have wiped them out.
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MyPost

Ancient Art in Indonesia:


The Indonesian images discovered in a limestone cave on the island of Sulaweri in the 1950s had previously been thought to date back only 10,000 years. But now, it has been found to date back at least 40,000 years, making it the oldest sign yet of human creative art and perhaps predates art from European caves.

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Picture Post:
Kollur Mookambika temple, Byndoor, Karnataka, India
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