Are Tolkien's hobbits native to the island of Flores?

Are Tolkien's hobbits native to the island of Flores?
Are Tolkien's hobbits native to the island of Flores?
Anonim

Hobbits from "The Lord of the Rings" may be "descendants" of real people from the island of Flores - flores.

Frodo

And this, of course, is not news. A hypothesis about this has been circulating in scientific circles for a long time, but recently in one of his lectures the famous anthropologist Stanislav Drobyshevsky spoke about it in more detail.

“It is possible that some real events in the distant past of the existence of ancient hominids could affect mythology and folklore, and maybe vice versa - folklore affected some ideas that people perceive as scientific,” Stanislav Drobyshevsky said.

Recall that in 2004, the remains of a very unusual species of hominids, which were named hobbits, in honor of the well-known characters of Tolkien, were described earlier found on the island of Flores in the Liang Bua cave. The fact is that the remains belonged to a woman who was less than one and a half meters tall. But this was not the sensation - on Earth, as you know, today there are quite a few very undersized populations (for example, African or Indonesian pygmies). Archaeologists were struck by another thing - the skull of Homo floresiensis, which had a number of features. The main one was the extremely small brain volume - only about 400 grams. This is how much the brain of a chimpanzee weighs, and on average even a little more - 400-450 grams. It is also interesting that the remains of the hobbits by anthropological standards turned out to be very "young" - they are from 95 to 12 thousand years old. Thus, the Floresians could live at a time when our ancestors in the Ancient East had already tamed the goat, that is, 12 thousand years ago.

Image

Stone tools were also found among the remains of the hobbits. It turned out that a creature with a brain weighing 400 grams could make chisels, scrapers and axes from stone. Until now, it was believed that the brain rubicon is 700-750 grams. The size of the brain below this limit is critical for the manifestation of purely human properties, such as difficult communication, the manufacture of stone tools, the use of fire, etc. However, no traces of fire were found in the Liang Bua cave, and no burials were found either - the bones of the Floresians are scattered in a chaotic manner throughout the cave.

Therefore, the remains of hobbits are very often "attacked": some groups of scientists have long been trying to prove that bones and skulls belong to microcephaly (microcephaly is a significant decrease in the size of the skull and, accordingly, the brain with normal sizes of other parts of the body; accompanied by mental disability - from mild imbecility to idiocy.It is rare, on average in one case per 6-8 thousand births - NS), and not so long ago an article was published where the authors put forward the assumption that these are the remains of people with Down syndrome.

Image

However, most scientists are of the opinion that this is not the case and we are dealing with the remains of healthy, but, of course, primitive and not similar to us hominids. The main argument is that the remains of not one or two hobbits were found in the cave, but as many as seventeen. It is too unlikely that they all suffered from microcephaly, Down's syndrome, etc. The population of microcephalics simply could not survive (especially in those days). Most likely, the Floresians are the ancestors of Pithecanthropus, who came here about 1 million years ago from the island of Java. In island conditions, as is often the case, the hominids were crushed (some living creatures, as we know, in such conditions, on the contrary, "enlarge", becoming much larger than their ancestors on the continents - NS) and, unfortunately, degraded (probably, due to the conditions on the "paradise" island and the possible absence of predators, as well as a small amount of food - NS).

On the same Flores island, not far from the Liang Bua cave, there is the village of Rampasasa, where wild tribes of people live, which are also small in stature - about one and a half meters, only slightly taller than the hobbits - but quite modern.

It is noteworthy that when the archaeologists told the locals about their find, they immediately had their own myth that these hobbits were none other than their ancestors. But the most interesting thing is that ethnographers working on the island recorded the legend of local residents about some Ebugogo, which sounds like this. When the ancestors of the modern Floresian aborigines, farmers, came to this valley from other parts of the island, they met there some little furry people - Ebugogo, who led a very simple life and spoke in a strange chirping language. At first everything went peacefully, and residents began to communicate with them, exchange food, etc. But then Ebu gogo began to steal food and children from the inhabitants, so the aborigines exterminated all Ebu gogo, and those who remained were driven into a certain cave, filled up with stones and logs and burned. This is not Liang Bua cave, the locals even showed it to scientists, but while it really remains littered, it has not yet been excavated. All this is presented by the aborigines not as a myth, but as a historical fact, which, as they say, happened just before the arrival of the Europeans on the island. The latter sailed there around the 16th century. Of course, among anthropologists and ethnographers, the version immediately spread that Ebu Gogo were the very hobbits who were found in the Liang Bua cave.

Image

The most surprising thing is that other ethnographers who worked with the local population in other places found that the same version of the legend exists, for example, on the island of Sulawesi, which, like Flores, belongs to Indonesia. And also in Taiwan and Sri Lanka. So, the natives of Sri Lanka told ethnographers the following legend. When their ancestors came to a certain valley, they met there shaggy men who spoke in a strange chirping language. At first, they communicated with them and exchanged food, and then they began to steal food and children, and the ancestors of the aborigines drove them into a cave and burned them. Meanwhile, from Sri Lanka to Flores, as you know, lies a huge distance, at least half the Indian Ocean wide. How could the Floresian legend get to the locals (or vice versa - the legend of Sri Lanka to the inhabitants of the Flores island)?

Scientists have put forward several explanations for this. The most incredible of them is that events were repeated. Another is that this is just a mythological story that circulates around the world (as mentioned above, a similar tradition, with minor variations, exists among the Sulawesi natives and in Taiwan; perhaps the same myths exist in other places in Indonesia). True, the legends, as we remember, date back to the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, and the youngest dating of the remains from the Liang Bua cave is 12 thousand years, which is not quite the same. But it is possible that in other parts of the island of Flores there are later remains of hobbits (although in tropical climates the remains are very poorly preserved, so it will not be easy to find them). It is, of course, also possible that the events described above did take place on the island of Flores, and then the legends about them spread to other islands. True, the local residents of Sri Lanka - Veddas - lead a very isolated lifestyle. Therefore, they should have received such a tradition a very, very long time ago, certainly not in the 16th century. There is also a version according to which this myth is widespread and has no special relation to reality. And when people, knowing him, came to Flores and met hobbits there, they realized a terrible story, as they say, in practice: the discoverers of the island already knew for sure that when they met little hairy men, they needed to be driven into a cave and burned.

Image

It is also possible that a similar mythological plot could arise when people first encountered lemurs (on the island of Madagascar, where there is also a legend about a certain little shaggy man, however, this is where the similarity of the plot ends), monkeys or very short tribes, which, like known to exist to this day.

Popular by topic