Based on my first Flores Girl novel you know I have a keen interest in how the Ebu Gogo, aka the hobbits of Flores actually looked. Their scientific name is Homo floresiensis and facial anthropologist at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Susan Hayes, created a ‘facial approximation’ of what the archaic hominin probably looked like (pictured, right) using remains of a female dated at between 18,000 and 38,000 years old, discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003.
“In the media it’s often called ‘facial reconstruction’, but because I’m evidence-based and work in archaeological science, we prefer the term ‘facial approximation’,” Hayes said in a statement.
Now extinct, Homo floresiensis was a short-statured hominin with a small brain and relatively large teeth and feet for its height, hence the nickname.She feaured a low forehead with a receding chin and at three feet tall she was the original hobbit.
“She’s taken me a bit longer than I’d anticipated [and] has caused more than a few headaches along the way, but I’m pleased with both the methodological development and the final results,” Hayes said.
“She’s not what you’d call pretty, but she is definitely distinctive.” That’s definitely true but compare her with these other reconstructions.
Hayes’ has a background in forensic science and has applied the same facial approximation methods in work with homicide detectives to identify the remains of murder victims. How do I think Susan did with her reconstruction? Well, I won’t say yet but my own version of Flo or Homo floresiensis will be released with the novel sequel so we will see.