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Participants at TBI's Miocene workshop, held at our Turkwel research facility

Hobbits in the Haystack: Homo floresiensis and Human Evolution

This public symposium focused on a prehistoric hominin that has recently gained international celebrity status, the enigmatic Homo floresiensis. Since the announcement of this taxon in 2004, Homo floresiensis has emerged as one of the most fascinating and perplexing twists to the story of human evolution in recent history.

Image: fossil jaws of Homo floresiensis © Djuna Ivereigh/ARKENAS.

Dated to only 17,000 years ago, these “hobbits” possessed a shocking number of primitive morphologies more reminiscent of earlier Homo erectus, or even Australopithecus, than modern humans. The symposium offered a unique opportunity for the researchers currently in the process of describing and analyzing the Homo floresiensis remains to update the general public on their thoughts on the profound implications of this material for understanding the nature and tempo of human evolution.