Monday, January 28, 2013

Meet the Hobbit

Modern humans can now look their recently discovered relative, Homo floresiensis, in the face thanks to a new reconstruction unveiled at an archaeological conference in Australia.

This species of early human was first identified in 2003 when researchers led by Professor Mike Morwood and Thomas Sutikna found the remains of nine individuals in Liang Bua, a large limestone cave on the remote island of Flores, Indonesia (CWA 22).

Among these was the almost-complete skeleton of a 30-year-old woman, popularly known as ‘Hobbit’ because of her short stature and large feet, whose appearance has now been recreated by Dr Susan Hayes, an anthropologist at the University of Wollongong who specialises in facial approximation. Referring to CT scans and the remains themselves, Dr Hayes digitally rebuilt the woman’s anatomy layer by layer.

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