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Nature. 2016 Apr 21;532(7599):366-9. doi: 10.1038/nature17179. Epub 2016 Mar 30.

Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia.

Author information

1
Centre for Archaeological Science, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.
2
Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional, Jakarta 12510, Indonesia.
3
Department of Anthropology, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario P7B 5E1, Canada.
4
Human Origins Program, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC 20013, USA.
5
Traps MQ Luminescence Dating Facility, Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales 2109, Australia.
6
Research Centre for Human Evolution, Place, Evolution and Rock Art Heritage Unit, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland 4222, Australia.
7
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.
8
School of Earth Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.
9
QUADLAB, Section of Earth and Planetary System Science, Natural History Museum of Denmark, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
10
School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington 6012, New Zealand.
11
Department of Natural History, University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen, 5007 Bergen, Norway.
12
Research Centre for Human Evolution, Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia.
13
Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia.
14
GeoQuEST Research Centre, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.
15
Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, New York 11794, USA.
16
Association Vahatra, BP 3972, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar.

Abstract

Homo floresiensis, a primitive hominin species discovered in Late Pleistocene sediments at Liang Bua (Flores, Indonesia), has generated wide interest and scientific debate. A major reason this taxon is controversial is because the H. floresiensis-bearing deposits, which include associated stone artefacts and remains of other extinct endemic fauna, were dated to between about 95 and 12 thousand calendar years (kyr) ago. These ages suggested that H. floresiensis survived until long after modern humans reached Australia by ~50 kyr ago. Here we report new stratigraphic and chronological evidence from Liang Bua that does not support the ages inferred previously for the H. floresiensis holotype (LB1), ~18 thousand calibrated radiocarbon years before present (kyr cal. BP), or the time of last appearance of this species (about 17 or 13-11 kyr cal. BP). Instead, the skeletal remains of H. floresiensis and the deposits containing them are dated to between about 100 and 60 kyr ago, whereas stone artefacts attributable to this species range from about 190 to 50 kyr in age. Whether H. floresiensis survived after 50 kyr ago--potentially encountering modern humans on Flores or other hominins dispersing through southeast Asia, such as Denisovans--is an open question.

PMID:
27027286
DOI:
10.1038/nature17179
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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