Monday, July 18, 2016

Learn about Homo floresiensis - or ‘the Hobbit’

Homo floresiensis Photo credit: © National Geographic Society

I've just signed up for a fascinating free online course about 'the Hobbit' -
a 1 meter (3 ft) tall extinct species of hominin discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores.  If you've ever traveled with me on a cruise near the Indonesian islands, you may remember my lecture on the amazing creatures of the Australasian region - including the Hobbits and other early humans.  (Check out my experience with  Komodo dragons).

This is a FutureLearn course - which I can highly recommend!  They are well-researched and well-presented by experts in their field, with lots of multi-media, and they are available free online.

Here's the description for this course on Homo floresiensis, presented by Bert Roberts, Director of the Centre for Archaeological Science at the University of Wollongong, Australia:
 Over the next four weeks we will embark on a quest of discovery and adventure that will take you to the forefront of modern archaeological science methods and research. We will commence our journey in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores to discover the skeletal remains of Homo floresiensis - or ‘the Hobbit’- as it has come to be known. Each week we will then follow a dedicated team of scientists to uncover clues and answer questions that expose the complexities of human evolution and the significance of archaeology.

    By the end of the course you will have a greater understanding about the discovery and international significance of Homo floresiensis, and the controversy and heated debate over its biological status. You will have examined evidence related to the stratigraphy of archaeological sites, faunal remains and stone artefacts. And you will have explored the role and application of a range of dating methods and approaches used to shed light on the life and times of Homo floresiensis, and our own origins.

        Prepare to embark on an adventure filled with mystery, questions and secrets all waiting to be unearthed throughout this quest…