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

Sutikna, Thomas, Tocheri, Matthew W, Morwood, Michael J., Saptomo, E. Wahyu, Jatmiko, Awe, Rokus Due, Wasisto, Sri, Westaway, Kira E., Aubert, Maxime, Li, Bo, Zhao, Jian-xin, Storey, Michael, Alloway, Brent V., Morley, Mike W., Meijer, Hanneke J. M., Van Den Bergh, Gerrit D., Grun, Rainer, Dosseto, Anthony, Brumm, Adam, Jungers, William L. and Roberts, Richard G. (2016) Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia. Nature, 532 7599: 366-369. doi:10.1038/nature17179


Author Sutikna, Thomas
Tocheri, Matthew W
Morwood, Michael J.
Saptomo, E. Wahyu
Jatmiko
Awe, Rokus Due
Wasisto, Sri
Westaway, Kira E.
Aubert, Maxime
Li, Bo
Zhao, Jian-xin
Storey, Michael
Alloway, Brent V.
Morley, Mike W.
Meijer, Hanneke J. M.
Van Den Bergh, Gerrit D.
Grun, Rainer
Dosseto, Anthony
Brumm, Adam
Jungers, William L.
Roberts, Richard G.
Title Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia
Formatted title
Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1476-4687
0028-0836
Publication date 2016-04-21
Year available 2016
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1038/nature17179
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 532
Issue 7599
Start page 366
End page 369
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Language eng
Subject 1000 General
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.
Formatted 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.
Keyword Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DP0770234
2121-2
DP1093049
FL130100116
201255
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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