Thursday 18 March 2010

New discoveries on Hobbit island

News from Flores may shed more light on the Hobbit:

Hobbit' Island Shows Signs of Ancient Civilization

(March 17) -- In 2005, archaeologist Adam Brumm was in the midst of a dig on the sweltering Indonesian island of Flores when he decided to embark on a midday walk. While the rest of the crew was napping to stay out of the heat, Brumm, from Australia's University of Wollongong, came across a large, deep gully and ventured down. "I found some stone tools lying around on the surface," he recalled. But these weren't just any tools. Brumm suspected they were very, very old. "I quickly realized the significance and brought the rest of the team back." Now, after painstakingly excavating a section of the gully over several years, Brumm and his colleagues reveal in a new paper in the journal Nature that the site is indeed important. Their findings suggest that ancient humans occupied the island as long as 1 million years ago, or 120,000 years earlier than previously believed. The species that used these simple tools could be the ancestors of the famous so-called "hobbits of Flores," the tiny, small-brained species discovered there in 2003 and named after the little folk of the "Lord of the Rings" books.

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Little people are in the news this week:

Cryptozoology: Leprechauns

By Doug Aamoth on March 17, 2010

Today is St. Patrick's Day. What better strange and mysterious creature to examine from a cryptozoological standpoint than the leprechaun? Modern-day depictions of the leprechaun—little bearded men with pots of gold filled by paychecks from television appearances hocking sugary children's cereal—can be seen as “little more than a series of offensive Irish stereotypes,” according to Wikipedia, so let's dig in to the actual mythology a bit.While traditionally human in appearance, the general belief is that leprechauns are either a type of fairy, or elves “said to serve as defenders of the faerie community.” The word “leprechaun” is thought to have grown from the Old Irish word “luchorpan”—“lu” meaning “small” and “corp” being the root of the Latin word “corpus,” meaning body.

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