More on the Sulawesi Tool Makers

 Anthropology, Asia, Human Ancestors  Comments Off on More on the Sulawesi Tool Makers
Feb 102017
 

Signs of a tsunami? Ancient tools from the island of Sulawesi show that human ancestors island-hopped around Southeast Asia, perhaps illuminating the origins of the ancient tiny humans called hobbits. – Photo by Erick Setiabudi

A new article published in Nature details the latest developments in the study of mysterious stone tools discovered on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia.  The makers of these tools remains unknown and is pondered in a previous blog article on this site.  

This discovery is pertinent to the study of bigfoot for several reasons.  First of all, at least three species of unknown hominoids are reported throughout Indonesia.  One fits the description of the orang pendek on Sumatra which can be speculated to be a type of bipedal orangutan.  The other is more manlike, but smaller, and is referred to as the ebu gogo on the island of Flores.  This form is probably a relict form of Homo floresiensis.  The last of the three commonly reported forms fits the description of the North American sasquatch, and is in fact present in the folklore of Sulawesi where the tools were found.  

While it is unlikely that the larger, sasquatch-like form is responsible for these tools, the study of pre-modern humans and our relatives should always be encouraged.  It is within this framework that the sasquatch will eventually be recognized by science.  Though paleoanthropology is a newer science, it will certainly help provide a foundation for the subject of bigfoot and other unknown hominoids in the near future.  

For interested readers, the best book (by far) to detail the possible unknown hominoids found in the folklore of Southeast Asia is Images of the Wildman in Southeast Asia: An Anthropological Perspective by Gregory Forth.  It is detailed, scientific, and open-minded while remaining skeptical.  For any serious student of wildmen in that part of the world, I cannot recommend this book enough.  

 

Archaeologists dug deep in Sulawesi, excavating 10 meters down. Photo by Dida Yurnaldi

Ancient tools may shed light on the mysterious ‘hobbit’

The “hobbit” had neighbors. Back in 2004, researchers announced the discovery of this tiny, ancient human, which apparently hunted dwarf elephants with stone tools on the Indonesian island of Flores 18,000 years ago. Its discoverers called the 1-meter-tall creature Homo floresiensis, but skeptics wondered whether it was just a stunted modern human. In the years since, researchers have debunked many of the “sick hobbit” hypotheses. Yet scientists have continued to wonder where the species came from.

Now, an international team originally led by the hobbit discoverer reports stone tools, dated to 118,000 to 194,000 years ago, from another Indonesian island, Sulawesi, likely made by another archaic human—or possibly by other hobbits. “It shows that on another island we have evidence of a second archaic early human,” says paleoanthropologist Russell Ciochon of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, who was not involved with the work. The discovery makes the original hobbit claim appear more plausible, he says, by suggesting that human ancestors may have island-hopped more often than had been thought.

After international debate over the hobbit’s origins, co-discoverer Michael Morwood—then an archaeologist at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in Australia—set out to search other islands from which the tiny humans may have come. Java—more than 800 kilometers west of Flores but with a chain of islands in between—was already known to be the ancient home of the human ancestor H. erectus, a globe-trotting species that dates as far back as 1.7 million years ago. But Morwood instead set out for Sulawesi, 400 kilometers to the north, because powerful ocean currents sweep southward from this island toward Flores. Researchers had already found some simple stone tools on Sulawesi, but they couldn’t date the artifacts because they were found on the ground rather than buried with datable minerals.  

Click this link to read the rest of the article.

Oct 012013
 
Comparison of the skeletons of three bipedal mammals:
an Egyptian jerboa, an eastern gray kangaroo and a human.
(Credit: Image courtesy of University of Texas at Austin)

This sounds like a no-brainer, but the scientific debate has lingered for almost 90 years.  Finally, the relationship between the foramen magnum (the hole at the base of your skull through which the brain stem transmits) and bipedalism has been proven beyond doubt.

This is important to us bigfooters in regards to future cranial discoveries of apes, and particularly hominids and our ancestors.  As we learn more about bigfoots, humans, and our relationship on the primate family tree, we need to know where the big hairy guys belong.  Are they hominids?  Are they Silvapithecus offshoots?  Are they something else entirely?  Only by learning about our ancestors can we shed any light onto these mysteries.  Certainly, chief among the concerns about possible ancestory would be bipedalism.

Anthropologists Confirm Link Between Cranial Anatomy and Two-Legged Walking
Sep. 26, 2013 — Anthropology researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have confirmed a direct link between upright two-legged (bipedal) walking and the position of the foramen magnum, a hole in the base of the skull that transmits the spinal cord.

Jan 092011
 

Whenever an article is published about human ancestors, I always read it with my bigfoot goggles on, meaning  that I look for connections to sasquatches. I strongly suspect that bigfoots are humans’ closest living relatives (although I leave plenty of room for other hypothetical species of bigfoot-like critters from other parts of the world), and if this is true it makes sense that we can learn about sasquatches by learning about humans.

Right now, bonobos and chimps hold the title of our closest cousins.  Since chimpanzees and humans share nearly 96% of their DNA sequence, it should be expected that sasquatches would be right in that ballpark too, if not even closer in relation.

The following article caught my eye, not only because of the human ancestor connection, but also because it mentions cross-breeding.  The anthropological community (which you are a part of if you’re interested in apes, humans, sasquatches, and the connections between them) will be hearing a lot more about cross-breeding in the coming years, so start brushing up on it now.

A molar tooth of a Denisova, a group of early humans
who lived in central Asia about 40,000 years ago.



NEANDERTHAL RELATIVE
BRED WITH HUMANS

A previously unknown Siberian group, the Denisovans,
left fingerprints in some humans’ DNA.

Content provided by Laura Sanders, Science News



Neanderthals need to make room for a new kid sister in the early human family.  


By sequencing the full genome of a girl’s fossil finger bone found in a Siberian cave, researchers conclude that there must have been a closely related sister group of Neanderthals living in central Asia about 40,000 years ago. The data also show that, like Neanderthals, the mysterious group interbred with modern humans, in this case leaving behind a genetic fingerprint in modern-day Melanesians of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville Island, nearly 10,000 kilometers (6,213 miles) from where the fossil was found.


The new genetic information, reported Dec. 23 in Nature, underscores the fluidity of human evolution and hints that even more groups are waiting to be uncovered [emphasis added by Cliff], says paleoanthropologist Milford Wolpoff of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “We’re just scraping the outside of what’s probably a much more complex picture.”


Read the rest of the article here.