The Loom

The Hobbit War: An Indonesian View

The Guardian has a long but disjointed report about the dispute over Homo floresiensis. Articles like these rarely give a very good picture of scientific disputes, since all parties involved only get a couple catchy quotes apiece. I’ve been particularly puzzled by Teuku Jacob, the elderly Indonesian paleoanthropologist who sparked the controversy by taking possession of the bones and locking them away from the Indonesian and Australian researchers who found them. So I was pleased when my brother, a linguistic anthropologist who does research in Indonesia, passed on this link to a translation of a long essay by Jacob. My brother promises me that the translation is accurate. There’s a fair bit of science here, although Jacob isn’t averse to calling his Australian rivals "latter-day conquistadors."


  1. #1 Nick
    January 18, 2005

    So, you just *happen* to have a brother who is a linguistic anthropologist who does research in Indonesia! Talk about lucky breaks…

  2. #2 ~DS~
    January 18, 2005

    No casts were made of the specimens?

  3. #3 dbm
    January 19, 2005

    More interesting comments on this Guardian article and H. floresiensis in general at John Hawks blog

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