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Ref ID: 26636
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Morwood, M. J.
Jungers, W. L.
Title: Conclusions: implications of the Liang Bua excavations for hominin evolution and biogeography
Date: 2009
Source: Journal of Human Evolution
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2009.08.003
Abstract: Excavations at Liang Bua, on the Indonesian island of Flores, have yielded a stratified sequence of stone artifacts and faunal remains spanning the last 95 k.yr., which includes the skeletal remains of two human species, <i>Homo sapiens</i> in the Holocene and <i>Homo floresiensis</i> in the Pleistocene. This paper summarizes and focuses on some of the evidence for <i>Homo floresiensis</i> in context, as presented in this Special Issue edition of the Journal of Human Evolution and elsewhere. Attempts to dismiss the Pleistocene hominins (and the type specimen LB1 in particular) as pathological pygmy humans are not compatible with detailed analyses of the skull, teeth, brain endocast, and postcranium. We initially concluded that <i>H. floresiensis</i> may have evolved by insular dwarfing of a larger-bodied hominin species over 880 k.yr. or more. However, recovery of additional specimens and the numerous primitive morphological traits seen throughout the skeleton suggest instead that it is more likely to be a late representative of a small-bodied lineage that exited Africa before the emergence of <i>Homo erectus sensu lato. Homo floresiensis</i> is clearly not an australopithecine, but does retain many aspects of anatomy (and perhaps behavior) that are probably plesiomorphic for the genus <i>Homo.</i> We also discuss some of the other implications of this tiny, endemic species for early hominin dispersal and evolution (e.g., for the “Out of Africa 1” paradigm and more specifically for colonizing Southeast Asia), and we present options for future research in the region.
Date Created: 5/8/2019
Volume: 57
Number: 5
Page Start: 640
Page End: 648