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RE: [mythsoc] Hominid in Hobbiton

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  • dianejoy@earthlink.net
    I suspect the drama is having the scientific theories you ve held for years knocked into a cocked hat. ---djb ... From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 28, 2004
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      I suspect the "drama" is having the scientific theories you've held for
      years knocked into a cocked hat. ---djb

      Original Message:
      -----------------
      From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@...
      Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 09:54:05 -0400
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Hominid in Hobbiton



      Well I am still sorting messages, but is this for real? Would be good to
      find a magazine with charts, pictures and citations. Still I don't see the
      big deal... there has always been a wide variety of humankind, and isolated
      cultures can be very short or tall. Makes good reading, but I don't get
      the drama.

      Lizzie

      Elizabeth Apgar Triano
      lizziewriter@...
      amor vincit omnia
      www.lizziewriter.com


      > [Original Message]
      > From: Beth Russell <russells@...>
      > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      > Date: 10/27/2004 5:46:46 PM
      > Subject: [mythsoc] Hominid in Hobbiton
      >
      >
      >
      > Hey! Look at all these comparisons! Keep reading and you will even
      > find Smaug. (A pity the headline didn't say Hobbit rather than Dwarf.)
      >
      > Beth
      >
      >
      >
      > Scientists Find Prehistoric Dwarf Skeleton
      >
      >
      >
      > By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA, AP Science Writer
      >
      > In an astonishing discovery that could rewrite the history of human
      > evolution, scientists say they have found the skeleton of a new human
      > species, a dwarf, marooned for eons in a tropical Lost World while
      > modern man rapidly colonized the rest of the planet.
      >
      >
      > The finding on a remote Indonesian island has stunned anthropologists
      > like no other in recent memory. It is a fundamentally new creature that
      > bears more of a resemblance to fictional, barefooted hobbits than modern
      > humans.
      >
      >
      > Yet biologically speaking, it may have been closely related to us and
      > perhaps even shared its caves with our ancestors.
      >
      >
      > The 3-foot-tall adult female skeleton found in a cave is believed 18,000
      > years old. It smashes the long-cherished scientific belief that our
      > species, Homo sapiens, systematically crowded out other upright-walking
      > human cousins beginning 160,000 years ago and that we've had Earth to
      > ourselves for tens of thousands of years.
      >
      >
      > Instead, it suggests recent evolution was more complex than previously
      > thought.
      >
      >
      > And it demonstrates that Africa, the acknowledged cradle of humanity,
      > does not hold all the answers to persistent questions of how - and where
      > - we came to be.
      >
      >
      > "This finding really does rewrite our knowledge of human evolution,"
      > said Chris Stringer, who directs human origins studies at the Natural
      > History Museum in London. "And to have them present less than 20,000
      > years ago is frankly astonishing."
      >
      >
      > Scientists called the dwarf skeleton "the most extreme" figure to be
      > included in the extended human family. Certainly, she is the shortest.
      >
      >
      > She is the best example of a trove of fragmented bones that account for
      > as many as seven of these primitive individuals that lived on the
      > equatorial island of Flores, located east of Java and northwest of
      > Australia. The mostly intact female skeleton was found in September
      > 2003.
      >
      >
      > Scientists have named the extinct species Homo floresiensis, or Flores
      > Man, and details appear in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.
      >
      >
      > The specimens' ages range from 95,000 to 12,000 years old, meaning they
      > lived until the threshold of recorded human history and perhaps crossed
      > paths with the ancestors of today's islanders.
      >
      >
      > Flores Man was hardly formidable. His grapefruit-sized brain was
      > two-thirds smaller than ours, and closer to the brains of today's
      > chimpanzees and transitional prehuman species in Africa than vanished 2
      > million years ago.
      >
      >
      > Yet Flores Man made stone tools, lit fires and organized group hunts for
      > meat. Bones of fish, birds and rodents found near the skeleton were
      > charred, suggesting they were cooked.
      >
      >
      > All this suggests Flores Man lived communally and communicated
      > effectively, perhaps even verbally.
      >
      >
      > "It is arguably the most significant discovery concerning our own genus
      > in my lifetime," said anthropologist Bernard Wood of George Washington
      > University, who reviewed the research independently.
      >
      >
      > Discoveries simply "don't get any better than that," proclaimed Robert
      > Foley and Marta Mirazon Lahr of Cambridge University in a written
      > analysis.
      >
      >
      > To others, the species' baffling combination of slight dimensions and
      > coarse features bears almost no meaningful comparison either to modern
      > humans or to our larger, archaic cousins.
      >
      >
      > They suggest that Flores Man doesn't belong in the genus Homo at all,
      > even if it was a recent contemporary. But they are unsure where to
      > classify it.
      >
      >
      > "I don't think anybody can pigeonhole this into the very simple-minded
      > theories of what is human," anthropologist Jeffrey Schwartz of the
      > University of Pittsburgh. "There is no biological reason to call it
      > Homo. We have to rethink what it is."
      >
      > For now, most researchers have been limited to examining digital
      > photographs of the specimens. The female partial skeleton and other
      > fragments are stored in a laboratory in Jakarta, Indonesia.
      >
      > Researchers from Australia and Indonesia found the partial skeleton 13
      > months ago in a shallow limestone cave known as Liang Bua. The cave,
      > which extends into a hillside for about 130 feet, has been the subject
      > of scientific analysis since 1964. Fenced off and patrolled by guards,
      > it is surrounded by coffee farms.
      >
      > Older stone tools and other artifacts previously found on the island
      > suggest that Flores Man is part of a substantial archaic human lineage.
      >
      > "So the 18,000-year-old skeleton cannot be some kind of 'freak' that we
      > just happened to stumble across," said one of the discoverers,
      > radiocarbon dating expert Richard G. Roberts of the University of
      > Wollongong in Australia.
      >
      > But the environment in which Flores Man lived was indeed peculiar, and
      > scientists say it probably contributed to the specimen's unusually small
      > dimensions.
      >
      > Millenia ago, Flores was a kind of a looking-glass world, a real-life
      > Middle-earth inhabited by a menagerie of fantastical creatures like
      > giant tortoises, elephants as small as ponies and rats as big as hunting
      > dogs.
      >
      > It even had a dragon, although they were giant lizards like today's
      > carnivorous Komodo dragons rather than the treasure-hoarding Smaug
      > described by novelist J.R.R. Tolkien in his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
      >
      >
      > Artifacts suggest that a big-boned human cousin, Homo erectus, migrated
      > from Java to Flores and other islands, perhaps by bamboo raft, nearly 1
      > million years ago.
      >
      > Researchers suspect that Flores Man probably is an H. erectus descendant
      > that was squeezed by the pressures of natural selection.
      >
      > Nature is full of mammals - deer, squirrels and pigs, for example -
      > living in marginal, isolated environments that gradually dwarf when food
      > isn't plentiful and predators aren't threatening.
      >
      > This is the first time that the evolution of dwarfism has been recorded
      > in a human relative, said the study's lead author, Peter Brown of the
      > University of New England in Australia.
      >
      > Just how this primitive, remnant species managed to hang on is
      > uncertain. Inbreeding certainly would've been a danger. Geologic
      > evidence suggests a massive volcanic eruption sealed its fate some
      > 12,000 years ago, along with other unusual island species like the dwarf
      > elephant species, stegodon.
      >
      > Now, scientists are more puzzled by the specimen's jumble of features
      > that appear to be borrowed from different human ancestors.
      >
      > This much is clear: Its worn teeth and fused skull show it was an adult.
      > The shape of the pelvis is female. The skull is wide like H. erectus.
      > But the sides are rounder and the crown traces an arc from ear to ear.
      > The skull of H. erectus has straight sides and a pointed crown, they
      > said.
      >
      > The lower jaw contains large, blunt teeth and roots like
      > Australopithecus, a prehuman ancestor in Africa more than 3 million
      > years ago. The front teeth are smaller and more like modern human teeth.
      >
      >
      > The eye sockets are big and round, but unlike other members of the Homo
      > genus, it has hardly any chin or browline.
      >
      > The rest of the skeleton looks as if it walked upright, but the pelvis
      > and the shinbone have primitive, even apelike features.
      >
      > Bones from the species' feet and hands have not yet been found. Delicate
      > artifacts found in the cave were described as "toy-sized" versions of
      > stone tools made by H. erectus. They suggest that Flores Man retained
      > intelligence and dexterity to flake small weapons with sharp edges, even
      > if its body shrunk over time.
      >
      > "I've spent a sleepless night trying to figure out what to do with this
      > thing," said Schwartz. "It's a mind-blower. It makes me think of nothing
      > else in this world."
      >
      > Even more speculative is whether Flores Man met with modern humans, and
      > what might've happened.
      >
      > Folklore experts have reported persistent legends of little people
      > living on Flores and nearby islands. Islanders called the creature "Ebu
      > Gogo" and say it was about 3 feet tall.
      >
      > ___
      >
      > Associated Press writers Emma Ross in London and Chris Brummit in
      > Jakarta contributed to this report.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >






      The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
      Yahoo! Groups Links








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    • Beth Russell
      The drama is not in the discovery, interesting as it is, but in the Tolkenian comparisons being made in the reports (whether they be true or false). I think
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 28, 2004
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        The drama is not in the discovery, interesting as it is, but in the
        Tolkenian comparisons being made in the reports (whether they be true or
        false). I think there is more than just The Movie shown here because
        the article mentions Smaug as well (although erroneously placing him in
        "The Lord of the Rings").

        These are the relevant paragraphs in that particular article:

        "The finding on a remote Indonesian island has stunned anthropologists
        like no other in recent memory. It is a fundamentally new creature that
        bears more of a resemblance to fictional, barefooted hobbits than modern
        humans. "

        "Millenia ago, Flores was a kind of a looking-glass world, a real-life
        Middle-earth inhabited by a menagerie of fantastical creatures like
        giant tortoises, elephants as small as ponies and rats as big as hunting
        dogs."

        "It even had a dragon, although they were giant lizards like today's
        carnivorous Komodo dragons rather than the treasure-hoarding Smaug
        described by novelist J.R.R. Tolkien in his "Lord of the Rings"
        trilogy."


        A USA Today article says this morning:

        "Fans of The Lord of the Rings may be interested to know that a remote
        Indonesian island has yielded the remains of pint-size people - a
        surprising new human species - that paleontologists say lived just
        18,000 years ago.

        In fact, scientists have nicknamed the new creature "Hobbit" after the
        diminutive folks in the famed J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy. Fiction aside, the
        discovery reported today by an Australian paleontology team is a big
        deal, challenging decades of human-origins research."



        From the "Middle-earth Studies" point of view, the third paragraph of
        the Prologue to LOTR says "Hobbits are [. . .] a very ancient people [.
        . .]". Were these skeletons the last of the hobbits, hidden on their
        island from the Big Folk "until the Dragon" came" (which the scientists
        are interpreting as a volcanic event)?

        Beth



        Well I am still sorting messages, but is this for real? Would be good
        to
        find a magazine with charts, pictures and citations. Still I don't see
        the
        big deal... there has always been a wide variety of humankind, and
        isolated
        cultures can be very short or tall. Makes good reading, but I don't get
        the drama.

        Lizzie

        Elizabeth Apgar Triano
        lizziewriter@...
        amor vincit omnia
        www.lizziewriter.com


        > [Original Message]
        > From: Beth Russell <russells@...>
        > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
        > Date: 10/27/2004 5:46:46 PM
        > Subject: [mythsoc] Hominid in Hobbiton
        >
        >
        >
        > Hey! Look at all these comparisons! Keep reading and you will even
        > find Smaug. (A pity the headline didn't say Hobbit rather than
        Dwarf.)
        >
        > Beth
        >
        >
        >
        > Scientists Find Prehistoric Dwarf Skeleton
        >
        >
        >
        > By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA, AP Science Writer
        >
        >
        >
        > "The finding on a remote Indonesian island has stunned anthropologists
        > like no other in recent memory. It is a fundamentally new creature
        that
        > bears more of a resemblance to fictional, barefooted hobbits than
        modern
        > humans. "
        >
        >"Millenia ago, Flores was a kind of a looking-glass world, a real-life
        Middle-earth inhabited by a menagerie of fantastical creatures like
        giant tortoises, elephants as small as ponies and rats as big as hunting
        dogs."
        >
        >"It even had a dragon, although they were giant lizards like today's
        carnivorous Komodo dragons rather than the treasure-hoarding Smaug
        described by novelist J.R.R. Tolkien in his "Lord of the Rings"
        trilogy."
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >.
        >
        > ___
        >
        > Associated Press writers Emma Ross in London and Chris Brummit in
        > Jakarta contributed to this report.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >






        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        Yahoo! Groups Links
      • Edith.Crowe@sjsu.edu
        Citation from _Nature_ (online) is as follows: Brown, P. et al. A New Small-bodied Hominin [sic] from the Late Pleistocence of Flores, Indonesia. _Nature_
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 28, 2004
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          Citation from _Nature_ (online) is as follows:

          Brown, P. et al. "A New Small-bodied Hominin [sic] from the Late
          Pleistocence of Flores, Indonesia. _Nature_ 431, 1055-1061(28 October
          2004). The journal web site has a lot on it also, try
          http://www.nature.com/news/specials/flores/index.html--I think you can get
          this without being a subscriber.

          There was a major article on this find in my local newspaper this morning
          (San Jose Mercury News). Charts & diagrams included.

          Edith L. Crowe
          Corresponding Secretary of the Mythopoeic Society
          http://www.mythsoc.org




          "Elizabeth Apgar Triano" <lizziewriter@...>
          10/28/2004 06:54 AM
          Please respond to mythsoc


          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          cc:
          Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Hominid in Hobbiton


          Well I am still sorting messages, but is this for real? Would be good to
          find a magazine with charts, pictures and citations.
          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org


          Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



          Yahoo! Groups Links
          To visit your group on the web, go to:
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Alan Kellogg
          ... All I can advise is a visit to , where you can find a number of stories on the subject. Picking up a copy of the new *Nature* when
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 28, 2004
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            >Well I am still sorting messages, but is this for real? Would be good to
            >find a magazine with charts, pictures and citations. Still I don't see the
            >big deal... there has always been a wide variety of humankind, and isolated
            >cultures can be very short or tall. Makes good reading, but I don't get
            >the drama.
            >
            >Lizzie
            >
            >Elizabeth Apgar Triano
            >lizziewriter@...
            >amor vincit omnia
            >www.lizziewriter.com

            All I can advise is a visit to <http://www.nature.com>, where you can
            find a number of stories on the subject. Picking up a copy of the new
            *Nature* when it's released would also be a good idea.
            --
            Alan Kellogg

            http://www.mythusmage.com

            mailto:mythusmage@...
          • alexeik@aol.com
            In a message dated 10/28/4 1:56:15 PM, Lizzie wrote:
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 28, 2004
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              In a message dated 10/28/4 1:56:15 PM, Lizzie wrote:

              <<there has always been a wide variety of humankind, and isolated
              cultures can be very short or tall. Makes good reading, but I don't get
              the drama.>>

              This is not just a previously unknown human population, but a distinct
              species of hominid that nevertheless used tools and weapons. Also, no natural human
              population consists of individuals three feet tall (discovering a species of
              ten-foot-tall hominids would be equally newsworthy).
              Alexei
            • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
              Thanks, all. I did find the internet links, and am going to scout around for magazine backup. For myself, I believe they would have belonged more to the
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 28, 2004
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                Thanks, all. I did find the internet links, and am going to scout around
                for magazine backup.

                For myself, I believe they would have belonged more to the Dreamtime than
                to the Hill.

                Lizzie

                Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                lizziewriter@...
                amor vincit omnia
                www.lizziewriter.com


                > [Original Message]
                > From: <Edith.Crowe@...>
                > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                > Date: 10/28/2004 12:07:44 PM
                > Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Hominid in Hobbiton
                >
                >
                > Citation from _Nature_ (online) is as follows:
                >
                > Brown, P. et al. "A New Small-bodied Hominin [sic] from the Late
                > Pleistocence of Flores, Indonesia. _Nature_ 431, 1055-1061(28 October
                > 2004). The journal web site has a lot on it also, try
                > http://www.nature.com/news/specials/flores/index.html--I think you can
                get
                > this without being a subscriber.
                >
                > There was a major article on this find in my local newspaper this morning
                > (San Jose Mercury News). Charts & diagrams included.
                >
                > Edith L. Crowe
                > Corresponding Secretary of the Mythopoeic Society
                > http://www.mythsoc.org
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > "Elizabeth Apgar Triano" <lizziewriter@...>
                > 10/28/2004 06:54 AM
                > Please respond to mythsoc
                >
                >
                > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                > cc:
                > Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Hominid in Hobbiton
                >
                >
                > Well I am still sorting messages, but is this for real? Would be good to
                > find a magazine with charts, pictures and citations.
                > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > mythsoc-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • David Bratman
                ... It s interesting that the comparisons are being made, though they re certainly neither true nor relevant. Aside from being small, secretive, and barefoot,
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 28, 2004
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                  At 10:57 AM 10/28/2004 -0500, Beth Russell wrote:

                  >The drama is not in the discovery, interesting as it is, but in the
                  >Tolkenian comparisons being made in the reports (whether they be true or
                  >false).

                  It's interesting that the comparisons are being made, though they're
                  certainly neither true nor relevant. Aside from being small, secretive,
                  and barefoot, these beings clearly have nothing in common with hobbits as
                  Tolkien described them. That they should have spawned legends among later
                  Indonesians is interesting, as Tolkien evidently intended readers to think
                  of hobbits as the "real" story behind elusive small European peoples like,
                  say, leprechauns.


                  >"Millenia ago, Flores was a kind of a looking-glass world, a real-life
                  >Middle-earth inhabited by a menagerie of fantastical creatures like
                  >giant tortoises, elephants as small as ponies and rats as big as hunting
                  >dogs."

                  This strongly suggests the author has no more knowledge of Middle-earth
                  than the infamous Barbara Remington covers to the original Ballantine editions.
                • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                  Most likely, the Irish Fionn Cycle, dealing with the stories of Fionn mac Cumhail? ---djb ... From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@earthlink.net Date:
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 29, 2004
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                    Most likely, the Irish Fionn Cycle, dealing with the stories of Fionn mac
                    Cumhail? ---djb

                    Original Message:
                    -----------------
                    From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@...
                    Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2004 13:29:40 -0400
                    To: Mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [mythsoc] Paul Hazel's Finnbranch




                    I have just finished reading Paul Hazel's _Yearwood_, the first book in the
                    Finnbranch trilogy. I know I have not read any other Hazel. The cadence,
                    or style, of this book is so familiar though, and many of the names are as
                    well. I realize these are separate issues. Does anyone know if his Finn
                    legend is based on any single story or set of tales, or just generally set
                    in the, what would you call it? semi-Celtic-Gaelic-storylands? And the
                    cadence, it recalls something, but I am not sure what. Anyone?

                    thanks,

                    Lizzie

                    Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    lizziewriter@...
                    amor vincit omnia
                    www.lizziewriter.com









                    The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    Yahoo! Groups Links








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                  • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    That s what perhaps I thought, but I would like to hear more discussion and analysis from those who would know. Even if you look on amazon under reviews,
                    Message 9 of 14 , Oct 29, 2004
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                      That's what perhaps I thought, but I would like to hear more discussion and
                      analysis from those who would know. Even if you look on amazon under
                      reviews, there is very little, and it sounds more like criticism of
                      original fiction than of retellings. At first I thought it was "that"
                      Finn, but there is also use of other popular legendary names, and not,
                      perhaps, tied to the characters one would first think of.

                      Mr. Hazel is apparently now the HR director, or similar, of a school
                      district in my area. I can't find a lot more about him in searches, but I
                      am thinking of writing to him. With two shows coming up soon, though,
                      everything else is taking a back burner around here.

                      Lizzie

                      Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                      lizziewriter@...
                      amor vincit omnia
                      www.lizziewriter.com


                      > [Original Message]
                      > From: dianejoy@... <dianejoy@...>
                      > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Date: 10/29/2004 10:47:45 AM
                      > Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Paul Hazel's Finnbranch
                      >
                      >
                      > Most likely, the Irish Fionn Cycle, dealing with the stories of Fionn mac
                      > Cumhail? ---djb
                      >
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