About those recent stories about Hobbit Man (Homo floresienses). They were discovered beneath a 12,000 year old lava layer; yet there were folk tales circulating about them even today. If that was their last habitat, it means that the folk tales survived by oral tradition alone for 7,000+ years, until writing systems had a chance to help, and survived without significant change.

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About those recent stories about Hobbit Man (Homo floresienses). They were discovered beneath a 12,000 year old lava layer; yet ... by oral tradition alone for 7,000+ years, until writing systems had a chance to help, and survived without significant change.

Or (as you may be suggesting), it's a natural thing for humans to make up stories about little people, and when they dig up some small hominids from thousands of years ago, then there's an opportunity for another story about little people.

john
About those recent stories about Hobbit Man (Homo floresienses). They ... had a chance to help, and survived without significant change.

Or (as you may be suggesting), it's a natural thing for humans to make up stories about little people, and when they dig up some small hominids from thousands of years ago, then there's an opportunity for another story about little people.

It's also possible that they survived for much longer than we have archeological evidence for. According to the BBC's report on this, at :

** Yet there are hints H. floresiensis could have lived on much later than this. The myths say Ebu Gogo were alive when Dutch explorers arrived a few hundred years ago and the very last legend featuring the mythical creatures dates to 100 years ago.

But Henry Gee, senior editor at Nature magazine, goes further. He speculates that species like H.floresiensis might still exist, somewhere in the unexplored tropical forest of Indonesia. **

They shouldn't be hard to find, though - we just have to look for the smoke-rings.

Mark Barratt
Budapest
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About those recent stories about Hobbit Man (Homo floresienses). They ... had a chance to help, and survived without significant change.

Or (as you may be suggesting), it's a natural thing for humans to make up stories about little people, and when they dig up some small hominids from thousands of years ago, then there's an opportunity for another story about little people.

Can we be sure that they weren't just a family of PORGs?

Will.
Subject: Re: Hobbit Man and Folk Tales From: "Mark Barratt" But Henry Gee, senior editor at Nature magazine, goes further. ... forest of Indonesia. ** They shouldn't be hard to find, though - we just have to look for the smoke-rings.

Judging by the photograph gallery, we might have several of them in this group.
Peasemarch*
*resolutely unbearded.
About those recent stories about Hobbit Man (Homo floresienses). They were discovered beneath a 12,000 year old lava layer; yet ... by oral tradition alone for 7,000+ years, until writing systems had a chance to help, and survived without significant change.

A book on oral history described folk tales circulating recently somewhere in North Africa about headless people or some such. The author noted that Herodotus reported similar tales in the same region about 2500 years ago. But perhaps those North African people had read Herodotus and were having the oral historians on.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
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Subject: Re: Hobbit Man and Folk Tales From: "Mark Barratt" ... though - we just have to look for the smoke-rings.

Judging by the photograph gallery, we might have several of them in this group.

Eh? Hobbits are (for the most part) beardless. Indeed, this is some evidence that the peculiar fashionableness of beards in present-day Britain is really a very recent phenomenon, probably not older than 1967. Tolkien's hobbits were, of course, supposed to represent your typical rustic English folk. I'd say that the equivalent of a Matti Lamprhey a couple of generations ago would be a clean-shaven fellow (NTTARWT). You want beards, go with the Dwarves.
We had some debate here a couple of years ago over whether Viggo Mortensen's portrayal of Aragorn as being bearded was faithful to Tolkien's work. This quickly degenerated into an ugly pro-beard/anti-beard sort of discussion. I think Donna was sort of pro-beard, and I was sort of anti-beard. I think the truth is that no one knows Tolkien's views on beards seem to have shifted over the years; his works are inconsistent, for example, on the issue of whether Elves were always beardless or not (consider that shipwright fellow, Cirdan or whatever his name was). One thing seems indisputable: Tolkien himself was beardless, though I think as a young man he had a moustache for a while.
About those recent stories about Hobbit Man (Homo floresienses). They ... had a chance to help, and survived without significant change.

A book on oral history described folk tales circulating recentlysomewhere in North Africa about headless people or some such. The ... same region about 2500 yearsago. But perhaps those North African people had read Herodotus and were havingthe oral historians on.

I had a similar experience in North Carolina an American Indian was telling me well-known tall tales about "hoop snakes" and the like. I wondered whether he'd read them in the same books I had.

****. An Indian acquaintance told me that some tribe in the Northern Plains has a story that a certain star was in a certain place (at the north celestial pole, I bet) when they moved into their present lands. That star is known to have been there 11,000 years ago, she said.
There's a theory that the stories of Eden and Dilmun (the Sumerian lost paradise) come from the flooding of what is now the upper Persian Gulf when sea level rose at the end of the last Ice Age. See from Smithsonian magazine in 1987. I don't know the current status of this theory.
It's sometimes suggested that some of the monsters of Australian aboriginal mythology are based on large Australian animals that became extinct about 28,000 years ago, well after human settlement. I seem to recall reading that in Scientific American , but the only Web sites I could find that take it seriously aren't the kind that I take seriously. However, I found this, from one of Gregory Benford's nonfiction columns in Fantasy & Science Fiction : "Modern Australian aborigines recall landmarks that were flooded since the last ice age,
8000 years ago; divers verified their existence."

Jerry Friedman
Eh? Hobbits are (for the most part) beardless. Indeed, this is some evidence that the peculiar fashionableness of beards in ... Matti Lamprhey a couple of generations ago would be a clean-shaven fellow (NTTARWT). You want beards, go with the Dwarves.

Much older than that.
The perfectly verified law about it is:
"Whenever England has a queen, men wear beards."
Jan
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