She's short, hairy and over 12,000 years old

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The announcement in the journal Nature of a newly discovered skeleton of a "small-bodied hominin" - a new species of human - on the Indonesian island of Flores has created much media interest. Here, from perhaps only 12,000 years ago, is evidence that the human was not always so singular a being as millennia of philosophy might have us believe. Thinkers across the ages have made claims for the uniqueness of man (and he was man for a long time): man was the political animal, the only animal who laughed; he had language and a self-awareness that animals lacked. But this female skeleton, named LB1 after Liang Bua, her place of discovery, raises the possibility that such claims for human uniqueness are misplaced. If there was more than one kind of human, doesn't that imply that there might be more than one way of being human?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-17
Number of pages2
JournalTimes Higher Education Supplement
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2004


  • history
  • philosophy
  • LB1
  • femail
  • human


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