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Hobbits and hidden faces

Things of note this week:

#1) Never mind climate deniers, COVID deniers and deniers of deliciousness of pineapple-on-pizza (I mean, we should mind, but just for this blog post) – on a less apocalyptic, more archaeologically related note, this week I learnt there are Hobbit Deniers!

Bilbo Baggins’s Existential Threat

Background: A wee adult skeleton – 1.06m tall – was found in Flores, Indonesia in 2003. To the world it was announced a new tiny species had been discovered, named Homo floresiensis. They were nicknamed Hobbits because they were so wee.

“The Hobbit Trap” is a book by distinguished Professor Maciej Henneberg who argues why H. Floresiensis is really unlikely a new species, but instead the skeleton belonged to a Homo sapiens/pre-discovered genus who had deformities and microcephaly (small brain). He also talks a bit about his life experiences in paleo-anthropology and, to me at least, his views are presented in a convincing manner.

When I went onto Wikipedia to check, there was no mention of credible theories against the existence of H. floresiensis.

It all felt very odd, like I had stumbled onto a conspiracy theory. Only, the writer is not a tinfoil hat wearer, but a gentleman with a long career + a PhD in Anthropology, a post at a Medical School in Australia, and (I don’t know this for sure, but probably) an IQ value that matches the average Homo sapiens height, in centimetres (163cm for women and 176.5cm for men, as per WHO statistics.)

So it seems like the consensus has eclipsed the controversy out in the world, and hobbits are around to stay. It does remind me to keep an open mind about subjects though – sometimes the experts can completely disagree with each other.

By the way, another species called Homo longi was discovered in China in 1933, but they have only announced it formally this year! Something about keeping delicate artefacts well hidden during some unhappy wars happening around then.

#2) 3 days left until Human Osteology starts. I’ve decided that human vertebrae have little faces, eg insects or fish or aliens. I’ve illustrated:

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2 thoughts on “Hobbits and hidden faces

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