Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Who is the Hobbit?

A team of scientists attempt to answer the question: "Who was Homo floresiensis (the Hobbit)?"

Just over a decade ago, we had no idea that Homo floresiensis even existed. So we’re really only just beginning to address the question of who Homo floresiensis is…

Skeletal remains of hobbits have only been discovered at one site — Liang Bua — providing a snapshot of a few individuals of this species from about 100, 000 to 60, 000 years ago. The similarly small fossilised hominin remains found recently in central Flores have been proposed as possible ancestors for Homo floresiensis. But the exact relationship between those 700, 000 remains and those of the Hobbit at Liang Bua awaits further study, as well as the discovery of post-cranial parts of the anatomy (e.g. wrist bones and foot bones) at the site in central Flores.

Discoveries of hobbits and their possible ancestors continue to spark the interest of scientists and the general public around the world.

“ …knowing that we did overlap on this planet with hobbits, if you will, or the hobbits of human evolution, is eye-opening and exciting” (Dr Matt Tocheri, palaeoanthropologist)

Conversation starter

  • How does information regarding the Hobbit puzzle change over time, and how was this so in the case of the dating of Homo floresiensis?
This article is from the free online

Homo Floresiensis Uncovered: The Science of ‘the Hobbit’

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now