From Flores to Stony Brook

Elizabeth Culotta reports from the Stony Brook hobbitrama:

The meeting was a rare chance for U.S. researchers to hear from the team that discovered the hobbits, which they officially call H. floresiensis. Lead excavator Thomas Sutikna of the National Research and Development Centre for Archaeology in Jakarta and Mike Morwood, now of the University of Wollongong in Australia, flew across the globe for the meeting, which gathered only those researchers who already accept H. floresiensis as a new species.

One piece of news: Matt Tocheri found another capitate among the bagged bone fragments:

The bone has the same peculiar and primitive configuration seen in the capitate of the main skeleton, suggesting that at least two individuals from Liang Bua have this oddly shaped wrist bone.

I think Culotta’s short description gives a good flavor of the conference. The webcast version, which I mentioned earlier in the week hasn’t shown up in the archive at Stony Brook. But two of the Richard Leakey symposia have video available (Link to archive), which might be interesting viewing.

I started one of them, and the Stony Brook provost introduces the symposium by noting that they wanted their series of symposia to include specialists with strong differences of opinion, with the hope of making progress toward defining the critical issues.

I guess somewhere along the way they decided to alter that strategy….