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Homo floresiensis
Homo floresiensis
Bradshaw Foundation Origins Archive
Homo floresiensis is a possible species, now almost certainly extinct, in the genus Homo. Its soubriquets include 'Flores man', 'hobbit' and 'Flo'. The dates from archaeological horizons range from 94,000 to 13,000 years ago. The archaeological remains were discovered by Mike Morwood and team in 2003 on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Partial skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete skull, in the Liang Bua Cave.
Homo floresiensis
Genus: Homo
Species: Homo floresiensis
Other Names: Flores Man, Flores, Flo, Hobbit
Time Period: 94,000 to 13,000 years ago
Characteristics: Small Body & Brain, Stone Tools
Fossil Evidence: Partial Skeletons, Flores, Indonesia


Homo floresiensis
Homo floresiensis
Small Bodied Hominin
The primary characteristic of this hominin is its small body and brain, given its survival until relatively recent times, possibly 12,000 years ago. Stone tools were recovered alongside the skeletal remains.
The overriding question is whether Homo floresiensis is a species distinct from modern humans, as Morwood suggests. He also proposes that Homo floresiensis lived contemporaneously with modern humans on Flores [Morwood, Brown et al. 2005].
Homo floresiensis Foot
Homo floresiensis foot compared
to that of a modern human
Opposing Morwood’s view, some such as Teuku Jacob argue that the skull was a microcephalic [abnormally small head] modern human, although counter arguments reject this possibility [Falk et al. 2005]. Studies have gone on to reveal bone similarities with early hominins and australopithecines, but not Homo sapiens; in other words, support for the separate species hypothesis.
Subsequent excavations have recovered seven additional skeletons, dating from 74,000 to 13,000 years ago. Sophisticated stone implements of a size considered appropriate to the 1-meter-tall human are also widely present in the cave. The implements are at horizons from 95,000 to 13,000 years ago.
For more information on homo floresiensis and the current debates surrounding the ongoing research, click here.