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Hobbit-like Human
APRIL 2005
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Evolutionary Highway
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Scientists believe the small skeleton found inside Liang Bua, a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores, may represent a new human species, Homo floresiensis. With deft hands, an understanding of soft tissue structures, and an artist's eye, John Gurche brought the ancient skull of the Flores hominin to life. To re-create the face of this tiny female—called Hobbit by her discoverers—he began with a copy of her skull. Using clay, he sculpted layers of fat and facial muscles. After casting the head in silicone, he tinted the skin. Once he added hair and the eyes, the early human seemed to come to life.

See how an artist's clay gave faces to the skulls from Dmanisi.

Navigate this map to learn the origins and characteristics of early human specimens.
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