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> Scientists Find Prehistoric Dwarf Skeleton, "We have to rethink what it is"


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  Posted: Oct 27 2004, 01:07 PM
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Got it from RMN... http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum...ames;read=57988
and http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/forum...ames;read=57992

Some highlights...

"...the specimen's baffling combination of slight dimensions and coarse features bears almost no meaningful resemblance either to modern humans or to our large, archaic cousins.

"They suggest that Flores Man doesn't belong in the genus Homo at all, even if it was a recent contemporary. But they are unsure how to classify the species.

"'I don't think anybody can pigeonhole this into the very simple-minded theories of what is human,' anthropologist Jeffery Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh. 'There is no biological reason to call it Homo. We have to rethink what it is.'"

Original story http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...dwarf_cavewoman

Thessa
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DANCINALIENNEW.GIF Scientists Find Prehistoric Dwarf Skeleton
9 minutes ago Science - AP


By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA, AP Science Writer

In a breathtaking discovery, scientists working on a remote Indonesian island say they have uncovered the bones of a human dwarf species marooned for eons while modern man rapidly colonized the rest of the planet.


One tiny specimen, an adult female measuring about 3 feet tall, is described as "the most extreme" figure to be included in the extended human family. Certainly, she is the shortest.


This hobbit-sized creature appears to have lived as recently as 18,000 years ago on the island of Flores, a kind of tropical Lost World populated by giant lizards and miniature elephants.


She is the best example of a trove of fragmented bones that account for as many as seven of these primitive individuals. Scientists have named the new species Homo floresiensis, or Flores Man. The specimens' ages range from 95,000 to 12,000 years old.


The discovery has astonished anthropologists unlike any in recent memory. Flores Man is a totally new creature that was fundamentally different from modern humans. Yet it lived until the threshold of recorded human history, probably crossing paths with the ancestors of today's islanders.


"This finding really does rewrite our knowledge of human evolution," said Chris Stringer, who directs human origins studies at the Natural History Museum in London. "And to have them present less than 20,000 years ago is frankly astonishing."


Flores Man was hardly formidable. His grapefruit-sized brain was about a quarter the size of the brain of our species, Homo sapiens. It is closer in size to the brains of transitional prehuman species in Africa more than 3 million years ago.


Yet evidence suggests Flores Man made stone tools, lit fires and organized group hunts for meat.


Just how this primitive, remnant species managed to hang on is unclear. Geologic evidence suggests a massive volcanic eruption sealed its fate some 12,000 years ago, along with other unusual species on the island.


Still, researchers say the perseverance of Flores Man smashes the conventional wisdom that modern humans began to systematically crowd out other upright-walking species 160,000 years ago and have dominated the planet alone for tens of thousands of years.


And it demonstrates that Africa, the acknowledged cradle of humanity, does not hold all the answers to persistent questions of how — and where — we came to be.


"It is arguably the most significant discovery concerning our own genus in my lifetime," said anthropologist Bernard Wood of George Washington University, who reviewed the research independently.


Discoveries simply "don't get any better than that," proclaimed Robert Foley and Marta Mirazon Lahr of Cambridge University in a written analysis.


To others, the specimen's baffling combination of slight dimensions and coarse features bears almost no meaningful resemblance either to modern humans or to our large, archaic cousins.


They suggest that Flores Man doesn't belong in the genus Homo at all, even if it was a recent contemporary. But they are unsure how to classify the species.


"I don't think anybody can pigeonhole this into the very simple-minded theories of what is human," anthropologist Jeffery Schwartz of the University of Pittsburgh. "There is no biological reason to call it Homo. We have to rethink what it is."


Details of the discovery appear in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.





Researchers from Australia and Indonesia found the partial skeleton 13 months ago in a shallow limestone cave known as Liang Bua. The cave, which extends into a hillside for about 130 feet, has been the subject of scientific analysis since 1964.

The female skeleton and fragments from the six other individuals are being stored in a laboratory in Jakarta, Indonesia. The cave, which now is surrounded by coffee farms, is fenced off and patrolled by guards.

Near the skeleton were stone tools and animal remains, including teeth from a young stegodon, or prehistoric dwarf elephant, as well as fish, birds and rodents. Some of the bones were charred, suggesting they were cooked.

Excavations are continuing. In 1998, stone tools and other evidence found on Flores suggested the presence 900,000 years ago of another early human, Homo erectus. The tools were found a century after the celebrated discovery in the 1890s of big-boned H. erectus fossils in eastern Java.

Now, researchers suggest H. erectus spread to remote Flores and throughout the region, perhaps on bamboo rafts. Caves on surrounding islands are the target of future studies, they said.

Researchers suspect that Flores Man probably is an H. erectus descendant that was squeezed by evolutionary pressures.

Nature is full of mammals — deer, squirrels and pigs, for example — living in marginal, isolated environments that gradually dwarf when food isn't plentiful and predators aren't threatening.

On Flores, the Komodo dragon and other large meat-eating lizards prowled. But Flores Man didn't have to worry about violent human neighbors.

This is the first time that the evolution of dwarfism has been recorded in a human relative, said the study's lead author, Peter Brown of the University of New England in Australia.

Scientists are still struggling to identify its jumbled features.

Many say its face and skull features show sufficient traits to be included in the Homo family that includes modern humans. It would be the eighth species in the Homo category.

George Washington's Wood, for example, finds it "convincing."

Others aren't sure.

For example, they say the skull is wide like H. erectus. But the sides are rounder and the crown traces an arc from ear to ear. The skull of H. erectus has steeper sides and a pointed crown, they said.

The lower jaw contains large, blunt teeth and roots like Australopithecus, a prehuman ancestor in Africa more than 3 million years ago. The front teeth are smaller than modern human teeth.

The eye sockets are big and round, but they don't carry a prominent browline.

The shinbone in the leg shares similarities with apes.

"I've spent a sleepless night trying to figure out what to do with this thing," said Schwartz. "It makes me think of nothing else in this world." rotatingskull.gif

___

Associated Press writers Emma Ross in London and Chris Brummit in Jakarta contributed to this report.








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“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 (NKJV)
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Posted: Oct 27 2004, 06:37 PM
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Thessa, I just got that report in my email and was ready to paste in the url when I saw you post and two others at two different forums I belong to. Notice the quibblers pop up like toadstools immediately. Walks upright, uses fire and tools sounds human to me; what do they want it to be? An Elf or a Leprechaun? I think we have the source of the Little People now to go along with our preAdena Giants. What do you think, Wahya and Seralia? clapping.gif pinkelephant.gif huffhuff.gif


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Posted: Oct 28 2004, 03:27 AM
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It's Halloween, not St Paddy's Day! lol.gif


The Wee Folk appear in folklore all over the world.

Yunwi Tsundi. Leprechauns. Pechs. Brownies.



If there be giants, why not little people too?

I've always believed folklore and legends to have a basis in some degree of fact. candle.gif


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Posted: Oct 28 2004, 06:13 AM
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Me too Wahya....

Me too..

winkNEW.gif




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Posted: Oct 28 2004, 06:00 PM
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QUOTE (Tex Arcana @ Oct 27 2004, 06:37 PM)
I think we have the source of the Little People now to go along with our preAdena Giants. What do you think, Wahya and Seralia?


tinkerbellemoticon.gif I think you're right Tex. There have been so many stories and legends that there were and maybe still are little people and now there's physical evidence to back it up. This is a skull of the new species and they seem to be hinting at the possibility that they may still exist somewhere in the world.

user posted image

Hobbit-sized Humans Called Homo floresiensis Discovered by Australian-Indonesian Archeologists

October 28, 2004

Hobbit-sized Humans Called Homo floresiensis Discovered by Australian-Indonesian Archeologists

Long live the real Bilbo Baggins, the first Little People of the World, Homo floresiensis and Homo sapien archeologists Michael Morwood, Peter Brown and Professor Soejono!

A team of Australian-Indonesian archaeologists, led by Michael J. Morwood and R.P. Soejono, have found a new species of hobbit-sized humans who grew no larger than a three-year-old modern child (approximately one meter tall), and who lived about 18,000 years ago and as recently perhaps as 500 years ago.

New South Wales University archaeologists discovered eight unearthed remains of a dwarf-like skeleton last fall in a limestone cave on the east Indonesian volcanic island of Flores. They have given these people the name Homo floresiensis. Their discovery in the Liang Bua cave of Indonesia, however, was not announced until yesterday.

The scientific journal Nature first published the news in their October 28, 2004 edition. The title: "Short For Her Age...Flores Man: Human Evolution writ small."

Today, the three-foot rainforest-dwelling "hobbit" which "rewrites the history of mankind" has graced the front pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal Marketplace, and other news sources around the world.

The Independent said the discovery of remains of a "new species" of human in Indonesia challenges the idea of what it means to be a human being.

A remnant population of this apeman, says the Daily Telegraph, may still be living in south-east Asia rainforest.

But the Guardian suggests the tiny beings fell foul of volcanic eruptions 12,000 years ago.

Could they have persisted somewhere else on the island inhabited today by 2 million people? And could a form of these beings remain alive today?

http://www.ruggedelegantliving.com/a/003196.html

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Say you want an evolution

October 28

Charles darwin, you there? Scientists have just discovered a new human species that once lived in the Indonesian island of Flores, and this could radically alter the accepted theory of human evolution. These ‘human hobbits’, standing three feet tall and having tennis ball-sized brains, apparently inhabited Flores where dwarf elephants and giant rats roamed — a time when pre-historic man was busy colonising the world — before dying out less than 18,000 years ago. What the discovery suggests is that the closest living relative of humans is not human at all — it’s an ape.

There was never a simple evolutionary path that led to modern humans, or Homo sapiens. Instead, early humans branched off into several forms. So in a not-too-distant past, two very different human species walked the Earth at the same time. The Flores Man’s physical structure endorses an important scientific theory (even as it trashes another). For the dwarf form of these apemen, who were direct descendants of Homo erectus (a species that predated Homo sapiens), proves the Darwinian process of ‘endemic island dwarfism’ seen in large animals trapped on an island for thousands of years, and undergo genetic isolation.

But the sophistication of the stone tools found with the Flores Man dismisses the popular idea that you need a certain brain size to do anything intelligent. For Flores was never connected to the Asian land mass, and the only way the ‘hobbits’ could have reached the island was if they were smart enough to build bamboo rafts. In other words, small-brained humans could have evolved without losing out on intelligence. Charles Darwin, you there?

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1078849,0012.htm


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Posted: Oct 28 2004, 06:21 PM
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Speaking of little people with a small brain size. rolleyesNEW.gif

user posted image


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Posted: Oct 28 2004, 06:41 PM
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Here is a comparison of the skull of Homo floresiensis and a normal human skull.

user posted image

At first they thought that it was the skull of a child when they first found it in 2003. winkNEW.gif

QUOTE
Indonesian archaeologists have dug at the Liang Bua cave site for the past 20 years, so at first the small skull misled the excavation team.

"We thought the skull and the mandible was from a child," says excavation site director Thomas Sutikna of the Indonesian Centre for Archaeology, who was there when the discovery was made in September 2003. "But after a week, we checked the teeth and saw that they were already worn, and that the molars had erupted, so she was more than 20 years old."


After they figured out that it was a new species, they also figured out that it lived side by side with Homo sapiens which most likely means that they could have been traveling companions. whistlingNEW.gif

QUOTE
Homo sapiens are thought to have colonised Flores island between 55,000 and 35,000 years ago, meaning they must have lived alongside H. floresiensis for tens of thousands of years.


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Posted: Oct 28 2004, 08:57 PM
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Thessa, thank you for starting this topic.

Seralia, and of course, you top it off with the images and more info.
You're too cool!

IMHO, Leprechauns, wee people, Gnomes of Zurich Switzerland are not just legends. Remember the Gold?

The question is, how did they come to be of such a smaller stature?

De-evolution? Shrunk in size? Or were their original creators also small in stature?

In the present day, we currently have dwarves and midgets. One has a large head, short arms and legs and a normal avg human sized torso (Dwarf), and one is a miniature person with symetrical body parts (Midget).

I do not believe they are related.


Note: The Gnomes of Zurich are important for some reason.
Gold, money, banks - all connected!




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~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: Oct 29 2004, 06:08 PM
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But the sophistication of the stone tools found with the Flores Man dismisses the popular idea that you need a certain brain size to do anything intelligent.





I wonder if their stone tools were of flint/chert or obsidian.

You may not need a certain brain size to make these tools, but you do need some strength.

Obsidian (volcanic glass) and dacite (a related form of volcanic rock) are much easier to work than flint/chert. They were in a volcanic place too.

It would also depend on their technique. It would be easier for a smaller person to make tools by percussion flaking only, but if they were also using pressure flaking, these little guys were strong for their size.


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Posted: Oct 29 2004, 10:21 PM
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I'm not sure about what kind of stone tools they had but I am keeping an eye out for any images of them that might pop up.

The scientists are really having some technical difficulties with this one. rolleyesNEW.gif They've found the remains of seven of them so far BTW.

QUOTE
"The finding of this distinctive human species, this endemic human species on Flores, also implies that there will be similar endemic species on other islands in that vicinity," project leader Mike Morwood, associate professor in archaeology at Australia's University of New England, said on Thursday.

"So, you're likely to have a distinctive little hominid population on Lombok, on Sumbawa, on Timor, and on Sulawesi, and each of those will be distinct species, because they will have evolved in isolation," he told a news conference in Sydney.

"Flores man" is thought to be a descendent of Homo erectus, which had a large brain, was full-sized and spread out from Africa to Asia about 2 million years ago.

Morwood said the discovery of hominids on Flores was unexpected as no Asian land animal at the time had crossed the sea to the islands in eastern Indonesia and hominids were not believed to be developed enough to build and sail a craft.

But if Homo erectus reached Flores and evolved into "Flores man" then others probably reached nearby islands and also evolved into new human species. Legends tell of small, man-like creatures existing on eastern islands long ago.

The discovery of hominids in Southeast Asia almost to the start of agriculture 10,000 years ago means they were "contemporaries of modern humans," said Morwood, and added another piece to the complex puzzle of human evolution.


QUOTE
What surprised scientists was that despite the shrinking of the brain "Flores man" still performed complex tasks like making miniature stone tools, hunting miniature Stegodon elephants and giant Komodo dragons and using fire to cook.

"They were making sophisticated stone tools, some of which appear to be directly associated with the hunting of big game like Stegodon, like Komodo dragon...and for butchering these large animals," said Morwood.

"So despite very, very small brains, this hominid population was doing sophisticated things," he said.


http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml...79§ion=news

I just found the tools Wahya. clapping.gif

user posted image

I also found another skull image. cheers2.gif

user posted image

http://pharyngula.org/index/C12/


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Posted: Oct 29 2004, 10:27 PM
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They not only built tools but they also apparently knew how to make fires and could possibly verbally communicate with each other as well.

Villagers speak of the small, hairy Ebu Gogo

(Filed: 28/10/2004)

Richard Roberts, discoverer of the Hobbit, says local tales suggest the species could still exist

When I was back in Flores earlier this month we heard the most amazing tales of little, hairy people, whom they called Ebu Gogo - Ebu meaning grandmother and Gogo meaning 'he who eats anything'. The tales contained the most fabulous details - so detailed that you'd imagine there had to be a grain of truth in them.

One of the village elders told us that the Ebu Gogo ate everything raw, including vegetables, fruits, meat and, if they got the chance, even human meat.

When food was served to them they also ate the plates, made of pumpkin - the original guests from hell (or heaven, if you don't like washing up and don't mind replacing your dinner set every week).

The villagers say that the Ebu Gogo raided their crops, which they tolerated, but decided to chase them away when the Ebu Gogo stole - and ate - one of their babies.

They ran away with the baby to their cave which was at the foot of the local volcano, some tens of metres up a cliff face. The villagers offered them bales of dry grass as fodder, which they gratefully accepted.

A few days later, the villagers went back with a burning bale of grass which they tossed into the cave. Out ran the Ebu Gogo, singed but not fried, and were last seen heading west, in the direction of Liang Bua, where we found the Hobbit, as it happens.

When my colleague Gert van den Bergh first heard these stories a decade ago, which several of the villages around the volcano recount with only very minor changes in detail, he thought them no better than leprechaun tales until we unearthed the Hobbit. (I much prefer Ebu as the name of our find but my colleague Mike Morwood was insistent on Hobbit.)

The anatomical details in the legends are equally fascinating. They are described as about a metre tall, with long hair, pot bellies, ears that slightly stick out, a slightly awkward gait, and longish arms and fingers - both confirmed by our further finds this year.

They [the Ebu Gogo] murmured at each other and could repeat words [spoken by villagers] verbatim. For example, to 'here's some food', they would reply 'here's some food'. They could climb slender-girthed trees but, here's the rub, were never seen holding stone tools or anything similar, whereas we have lots of sophisticated artefacts in the H. floresiensis levels at Liang Bua. That's the only inconsistency with the Liang Bua evidence.

The women Ebu Gogo had extremely pendulous breasts, so long that they would throw them over their shoulders, which must have been quite a sight in full flight.

We did ask the villagers if they ever interbred with the Ebu Gogo. They vigorously denied this, but said that the women of Labuan Baju (a village at the far western end of Flores, better known as LBJ) had rather long breasts, so they must have done.

Poor LBJ must be the butt of jokes in Flores, rather like the Irish and Tasmanians.

A local eruption at Liang Bua (in western Flores) may have wiped out local hobbits around 12,000 years ago, but they could well have persisted much later in other parts of the island. The villagers said that the last hobbit was seen just before the village moved location, farther from the volcano, not long before the Dutch colonists settled in that part of central Flores, in the 19th century.

Do the Ebu Gogo still exist? It would be a hoot to search the last pockets of rainforest on the island. Not many such pockets exist, but who knows. At the very least, searching again for that lava cave, or others like it, should be done, because remains of hair only a few hundred years old, would surely survive, snagged on the cave walls or incorporated in deposits, and would be ideal for ancient DNA analyses.

Interestingly, we did find lumps of dirt with black hair in them this year in the Hobbit levels, but don't know yet if they're human or something else. We're getting DNA testing done, which we hope will be instructive.

Richard "Bert" Roberts is a University of Wollongong professor and one of the team investigating the Hobbits


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Posted: Oct 30 2004, 01:06 AM
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I did some googling on Hobbits, and found the topic to be quite interesting. These little people may not be extinct as some suppose.

QUOTE
A mortal race almost certainly related to Men, though their origins are unknown. Their most distinguishing feature was their short stature; even the tallest Hobbits rarely exceeded four feet in height.

Originally a widespread people, hobbits were found in much of the north of Middle-earth and down the Vales of Anduin. As the Third Age passed, the Hobbits moved north and west, eventually founding the land of the Shire in III 1601.


Further down on the page:

QUOTE
Of Hobs and Boggarts

Throughout northern Europe, there exists a prevailing tradition of 'Little People'. They have an endless list of names: brownies, pixies, fays, leprechauns are just some of the more common. In some regions, these beings are far more than just myths or folklore: even today, they have an effect on people's everyday lives.

Take, for example, the Isle of Man in the middle of the Irish Sea: an island with a severe fairy infestation. In the southern parts of the island is the 'Fairy Bridge', a bridge that no Manxman would cross without greeting the Little People that live there. To most, of course, this is just superstition, but there are those who literally believe that they share their island with all manner of fairy creatures. Among these is a being known as a phynnodderee; shy of humans, friendly and happy-go-lucky, hairy-legged, fond of wine and beer and given to farm-work. Sound familiar?

The Manx aren't alone, of course: from Germany, where miners are helped by friendly burrowing 'kobolds', all the way to Iceland, whose Elves occupy a ghostly realm curiously similar to Tolkien's 'wraith-world', there are similar traditions.


http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm?h.../h/hobbits.html

---------------------------------------------

I found this an interesting comment from one of the researchers:

QUOTE
"The hobbit was nobody's fool," Roberts said. "They survived alongside us [Homo sapiens] for at least 30,000 years, and we're not known for being very amiable eco-companions. And the hobbits were managing some extraordinary things—manufacturing sophisticated stone tools, hunting pygmy elephants, and crossing at least two water barriers to reach Flores from mainland Asia—with a brain only one-third the size of ours.

"Given that Homo floresiensis is the smallest human species ever discovered, they out-punch every known human intellectually, pound for pound."



http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...ensis.html#main

You don't suppose Tolkein met these little people?

BJ




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Posted: Oct 30 2004, 01:34 AM
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I see evidence of both percussion and pressure flaking, including a coupl in particular that look neanderthal.

The first one looks a lot like a levallois core style blade.


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Posted: Oct 30 2004, 06:20 AM
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You are right , Wahya, these look like the Acheulian tools of Europe and those recently found on the Savannah River in the U.S. I've also seen Oldawan tools from the Mojave and right here on Caney Creek. Henry Helene has an excellent selection of these on the Coopnacave website.
http://www.dirtbrothers.org/CoopnaCave/


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  Posted: Nov 3 2004, 12:41 AM
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Scientists discover real hobbits

Scientists have discovered a new and tiny species of human that lived in Indonesia thousands of years ago.

The three-foot tall species - dubbed the 'Hobbit' - lived on Flores island until at least 12,000 years ago.

Details of the sensational find, hailed as one of the most significant in decades, are described in the journal Nature.

Australian archaeologists unearthed the bones while digging at a site called Liang Bua, one of numerous limestone caves on Flores.

The remains of the partial skeleton were found at a depth of 5.9m. At first, the researchers thought it was the body of a child. But further investigation revealed otherwise.

Wear on the teeth and growth lines on the skull confirm it was an adult, features of the pelvis identify it as female and a leg bone confirms that it walked upright like we do.

The 18,000-year-old specimen, known as Liang Bua 1 or LB1, has been assigned to a new species called Homo floresiensis. It was about one metre tall with long arms and a skull the size of a large grapefruit.

The researchers have since found remains belonging to six other individuals from the same species.

Flores' inhabitants have incredibly detailed legends about the existence of little people on the island they call Ebu Gogo.

Chris Stringer, head of human origins at London's Natural History Museum, said the find "rewrites our knowledge of human evolution".

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_11548...nceanddiscovery


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