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The Hobbit makes Wollongong home

Homo Floresiensis will be on permanent exhibition in Wollongong from Monday

Homo Floresiensis will be on permanent exhibition in Wollongong from Monday

A PERMANENT exhibition, which will showcase what has been dubbed ‘the scientific find of the century’, is coming to Wollongong.

The exhibition will showcase University of Wollongong’s research into Homo floresiensis, a new species of tiny human discovered by a team of archaeologists in 2003.

Wollongong university researchers, Professor Mike Morwood and Professor Bert Roberts, were part of the team that discovered a partial skeleton of a 30-year-old woman at Liang Bua, a limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Flores.

Affectionately dubbed the ‘Hobbit’, she stood just a metre tall, with extremely short legs, large feet and had a brain size of about 400cc, similar to a chimpanzee.

A full-scale skeletal replica of the Hobbit, as well as stone artefacts and a facial approximation, revealing what she would have really looked like, will be on exhibit as part of a new permanent display, which reflects the significant research and teaching areas within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (SEES).

The Deputy Director of the Indonesian National Centre for Archaeology (ARKENAS), E. Wahyu Saptomo, who was in charge of the 2003 excavation and actually uncovered the remains of the Hobbit, will be at the launch, as will Professor Morwood and Professor Roberts, as well as the Director of ARKENAS, Dr Bambang Sulistyanto, various dignitaries from the Indonesian Embassy in Sydney, including the Consul-General, Gary Jusuf, and Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery.

The exhibition will be launched by vice-chancellor Professor Paul Wellings in the Sciences Building (B41) of the University of Wollongong on Monday February 25 at 2pm.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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