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Liang Bua Cave
Cave where the remains of Homo floresiensis were found
The cave was the site of the 2003 discovery of a potentially new species of Homogenus, Homo floresiensis, the remains of which are coded LB1, LB2, etc., after the cave. The Indonesian field coordinator of the excavation team, Thomas Sutikna, was preparing to close up the dig at Liang Bua when the first indications of the important fossils were uncovered. So far it is the only location in which such remains have been identified, although archeological work in the nearby Soa Valley in Ngada Regency appears to support findings from the Liang Bua site.
In 2010 and 2011, archaeologists discovered two hominin teeth in the cave that did not come from Homo floresiensis. According to Sutikna, the teeth date to around 46,000 BP and are likely to have come from Homo sapiens.
There is continuing disagreement amongst scientists as to whether the discoveries represent a new and distinct hominid species. On one hand, some experts on human origin argue that the discoveries represent a distinct species that lived in relatively modern times. Others argue that it is more likely that the bones of the most complete individual found in Liang Bua (individual LB1) are those of a local person who was, quite likely, simply suffering from a medical condition (perhaps Down Syndrome) rather than indicating that a unique species of Homo lived in Flores.
^A summary of the different views, ten years after the publication of the first main research article in Nature, can be found at Richard 'Bert' Roberts and Thomas Sutikna, 'A decade on and the Hobbit still holds secrets', The Conversation, 30 October 2014.
Brown, P.; Sutikna, T., Morwood, M. J., Soejono, R. P., Jatmiko, Wayhu Saptomo, E. & Rokus Awe Due (October 27, 2004). "A new small-bodied hominin from the Late Pleistocene of Flores, Indonesia.". Nature, 431. doi:10.1038/nature02999.
Meijer HJM & R A Due (2010). "A new species of giant marabou stork (Aves: Ciconiiformes) from the Pleistocene of Liang Bua, Flores (Indonesia)". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 160: 707-724. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2010.00616.x.
Morwood, M. J.; Soejono, R. P., Roberts, R. G., Sutikna, T., Turney, C. S. M., Westaway, K. E., Rink, W. J., Zhao, J.- X., van den Bergh, G. D., Rokus Awe Due, Hobbs, D. R., Moore, M. W., Bird, M. I. & Fifield, L. K. (October 27, 2004). "Archaeology and age of a new hominin from Flores in eastern Indonesia.". Nature431: 1087-1091. doi:10.1038/nature02956.
Penny Van Oosterzee; Mike Morwood. A New Human: The Startling Discovery and Strange Story of the "Hobbits" of Flores, Indonesia'. London: Collins. ISBN0-06-089908-5.