Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $9.90 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
A New Human: The Startling Discovery and Strange Story of the "Hobbits" of Flores, Indonesia Hardcover – May 8, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Dr. Mike Morwood is a professor of anthropology at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. In addition to his work in Indonesia, he is an expert in Australian Aboriginal rock art and the author of Visions from the Past: The Archaeology of Australian Aboriginal Art.
Penny Van Oosterzee has twice won Australia's prestigious Eureka Science Book Prize, and is the author of Dragon Bones: The Story of Peking Man and Where Worlds Collide: The Wallace Line.
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060899085
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060899080
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.96 x 9 inches
- Publisher : Smithsonian; 1st edition (May 8, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,034,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The archaeology and paleontology involved is described thoroughly and understandably. Morwood explains why this area was interesting, geographically and geologically, as a place to look for the first Asians to island-hop to Australia. He also takes us through the customs and cultures of this vast archipelago, from a ritual contest using bullwhips to minibuses that vie to be the loudest means of transportation on Earth.
The claim of a new human species, one that looks like none other and challenges not just our history but what it means to be human, sets off an international carnival. LB1’s brain size was mid-range for a chimpanzee. It wasn’t possible for primates with 380 cc of grey matter to build fires, make stone tools, and undertake cooperative hunting of large animals – except they did. An apparent example of “island dwarfing,” which one gave the world pony-sized elephants, apparently reshaped a species more closely related to an African ancestor than to the only known early hominid of Indonesia, Homo erectus.
When the paper naming the species appeared, unconvinced scientists described LB1 her as a Homo sapiens with microcephaly or one of three other suggested maladies. Nationalist and academic feelings led to bones being taken without authorization for dating; an Indonesian institute letting underskilled preparers take latex molds, damaging the priceless bones. Morwood’s US-British-Australian-Indonesian team was accused of “neocolonial” fossil-hunting, and he was intrigued by tales of the Ebu Gogo, the little people who supposedly inhabit Flores to this day.
By the end of the book, the reader will, along with Morwood, experience relief when the species is established and the intellectual arguments won, even though the bones remain contested and locked away. Morwood died of cancer in 2013, having seen his species widely accepted after much controversy. The search for more “hobbits” goes on. Great book in all respects.