Source: François SÉMAH (NMNH)
A hundred of scientists from twenty different countries of Asia, Europe and Australia, all specialized in human origins, met at the National Museum of Natural History of Paris December 10-12, 2007 for the International Conference Human origins patrimony studies in Southeast Asia (Asia-Link HOPsea European Program). The goal of this international conference on human evolution was to develop collaborations between universities and museums to discuss conservation and valorization of the patrimony in general and to train young scientists on early humans in particular. Priority was given to the research of the youngest scientists trained within the HOPsea network and on the need for the scientific community to share data on human evolution and patrimonial funds.
The hyper realistic reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, discovered on the island of Flores (Eastern Indonesia) by an Indonesian and Australian team in Liang Bua cave, was unveiled at the Musée de l'Homme during that event.
For this extensive work, Elisabeth Daynès closely collaborated with Jean-Noël Vignal (forensic anthropologist, Paris, France), Harry Widianto (Universitas Gadjah Mada Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta, Indonesia), Dominique Grimaud-Hervé (NMNH).
The visitor is struck when meeting the hyper realistic reconstruction of this little woman who lived in Flores during Upper Pleistocene time. The reduced size of her body and several distinctive anatomical features of her head and face make her a very unique hominid. The rigorously reconstructed soft parts show the morphology of the nose, the prominence of the brow ridges and the thinness of the lips (result of the projection of the face and the absence of a chin).
If the hair and the color of the skin are based on hypothetical choices which scientists do not dispute, the precision of physical characteristics rebuilt from the data published on the fossil is highly appreciated. But since researches on environments and behavior of this hominid are still in progress, this hyper realistic reconstruction also calls for our imagination. When we cross her way, the “Flores woman” just picked up a stick of bamboo and we can only wonder what she is going to do with it.
The reconstruction was unveiled with other prominent fossils and prehistoric tools which are keys to the understanding of the early human conquest and settlement of the Far East.
La Dame de Flores
Musée de l'Homme, Paris - France
DATES / OPENING HOURS
FROM December 11, 2007 TO December 11, 2008
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