Australian researchers have completed facial reconstruction on Homo Floresiensis, the 18,000-year-old skeletal remains of a human female thirty years of age, approximately 66 to 77 pounds and only three feet in height. The skeleton was found in a cave on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003. The reconstruction project was lead by Dr. Susan Hayes, a researcher specializing in facial anthropology at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales. Dr. Hayes unveiled the facial model for the first time at an Australian archaeology conference this December.
The skeleton, nicknamed "The Hobbit" by scientists, has been the subject of debate as to whether this early female represents an extinct species of human or is an anomaly. Prior to 2007, some scientists argued that the woman may have had a condition called microcephalia that made her small in stature. Yet a 2007 study revealed that the brain cavity of the specimen, which accommodated a brain roughly one third the size of a human's, was not consistent with that of a person suffering from microcephalia.
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(Image credit: University of Wollongong)