[Marxism] Hobbit Face: Homo Floresiensis Researchers Reconstruct Facial Features Of Ancient Human
cb31450 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 11 10:26:17 MST 2012
I said several years back here that Hobbits and other humanoid types
in the Hobbit trilogy represented different species of hominids.
HuffPost Social Reading
Hobbit Face: Homo Floresiensis Researchers Reconstruct Facial Features
Of Ancient Human
Video, H. Floresiensis, Homo Floresiensis, Homo Floresiensis Face,
Floresiensis Skeleton, Hobbit Depiction, Hobbit Face, Hobbit
Floresiensis, Hobbit Revealed, Hobbit Skeleton, Indonesian Hobbit,
Real Hobbit, Science News
By: Megan Gannon, News Editor
Published: 12/11/2012 09:59 AM EST on LiveScience
Researchers have revealed what the face of a controversial ancient
human nicknamed "the Hobbit" might have looked like.
"She's not what you'd call pretty, but she is definitely distinctive,"
said anthropologist Susan Hayes, a senior research fellow at
University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. The female
doesn't have feminine-looking big eyes and she's lacking much of a
With a background in forensic science, Hayes was able to flesh out the
face of the 3-foot (1-meter) tall, 30-year-old female based on remains
that were uncovered in the Liang Bua cave on the remote Indonesian
island of Flores in 2003. To come up with this facial depiction, Hayes
uploaded information from 3D imaging scans of the skull into a
computer graphic program and also looked at portraits by paleo-artists
of the Hobbit, finding these earlier interpretations were skewed
toward monkey features; her examination, meanwhile, suggested modern
features were more accurate, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The path Hayes took to reach her facial approximation.
The 18,000-year-old skeleton, officially known as Homo floresiensis,
gets its nickname from its squat stature. The Hobbit would have
weighed between 66 and 77 pounds (30 and 35 kilograms). Since the
discovery, scientists have debated whether the specimen actually
represents an extinct species in the human family tree, perhaps a
diminutive offshoot of Homo erectus, a 1.8-million-year-old hominid
and the first to have body proportions comparable to those of modern
Homo sapiens. [See Images of Homo Floresiensis]
Critics have argued that the remains could have belonged to a human
with microcephalia, a condition characterized by a small head, short
stature and some mental retardation. But a 2007 study — which revealed
that the Hobbit's brain was about one-third the size of a modern adult
human's brain — found that its brain region ratios were inconsistent
with those characteristic of microcephalia. "In our view we dispensed
at that point with the microcelpahy hypothesis," said Florida State
University anthropologist Dean Falk, in 2009 when a skeleton cast of
H. floresiensis went on public display for the first time at Stony
Brook University on Long Island. "It's not just that their brains are
small; they're differently shaped. It's its own species."
Also in 2007, work by Matthew Tocheri, an anthropologist at the
National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and colleagues
found the female Hobbit's wrist bones matched, in shape and
orientation, those of non-human apes; they looked much different from
the wrist bones of Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) and modern
humans, also pointing to a new species.
The Hobbit face was unveiled at the Australian Archaeological
Conference being held from Dec. 9-13 at the University of Wollongong.
Hayes, who prefers the term "facial approximation" to "facial
reconstruction" for her work, said she was pleased with results.
"She's taken me a bit longer than I'd anticipated, has caused more
than a few headaches along the way, but I'm pleased with both the
methodological development and the final results," the researcher said
in a statement.
Her work has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
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