How would the "Hobbit" in the Stone Age: the history of an extinct dwarf people from the island of Flores
- Place of residence
- Skills and properties
- The Hobbits and the world around them
- Death of the hobbits
There is such a curious thing - the cycle of myths in nature. Sometimes what we considered to be real turns out to be just a legend, and what was originally a myth suddenly finds fascinating parallels in reality. Tolkien hobbits - just the second case. They were simply an invention until, in 2003, paleoanthropologists unearthed on the islet in Southeast Asia skeletons of miniature creatures, our distant relatives, who were immediately called likeness “hobbits” for similarity. Of course, they did not carry with them a ring of absolute power and did not live in a world similar to the Shire. But if it were not for the opening date, everyone would certainly consider that it was they who inspired Tolkien to create his halflings - they found so many unexpected parallels.
One can marvel at the fantasy of the professor who created the hobbits, but it becomes even more surprising from the understanding that he managed to predict and model the fate of the real existing people before it was discovered.
In 2003, several remains of humanoid creatures of different ages (from 13 to 95 thousand years) were found on the Indonesian island of Flores. That is, they existed here for a long time and for a long time. Scientists called the find "Floreski man" and, as it should be, immediately began to argue about who he was: a branch of a skilled person, a Pithecanthropus, or even the result of incest of homo sapiens (there is a general idea that this is erectus with Down syndrome). Everything is complicated by the fact that these "people" were no taller than a meter tall and possessed a brain three times smaller than ours. That is even less than Australopithecus!
And they had a life full of exotic adventures, such as hunting for elephants and fighting against dragons and giant birds, which were several times larger than them. Apparently, ugly and voracious giants once appeared in the life of these “hobbits”, who began to destroy them — that is, representatives of our species.
And now, for clarity, let's compare the hobbits of Tolkien and Hobbits from Flores Island .
Recall the Tolkien hobbits: their size is about half the height of an adult male. In other words, we have creatures about a meter high. Flores people exactly repeat this rule. For example, the “hobbit” from Liang-Bua Cave was only 1.09 meters high. Just imagine this next to him: the size of a ten, and at the same time - an adult warrior and hunter, most likely with a beard and scars. It is possible that he succeeded in the secretive murder of such unwary carcasses like you and me.
Place of residence
With Professor Tolkien, the hobbits lived in relative isolation from the rest of the world, rarely communicating with people, and even not loving them. At the end of the trilogy, King Aragorn swore altogether that the human foot would not set foot in Hobbit without a letter. And what is the reality?
Hominbit hobbits also lived in isolation, although it was of natural origin and much more tangible. According to the most well-established version of origin, the ancestors of homo floresiensis came to Flores about a million years ago. There, they quickly enough, in about two hundred thousand years, decreased to their size, and in this form they lived there, without interfering with the outside world in their small tropical paradise.
The most amazing thing is that scientists have not yet figured out for certain exactly how the Floresians got on their island, because at least twenty-six kilometers separate it from the nearest Java island. And the depth there is such that the sea here never dried up, so they could not come along the ground in any way.
We have to assume that already in those times someone still created primitive rafts. But then from our ancestors only existed on the planet homo erectus , people erect, and they have not yet found a single sign of the construction of rafts or boats. True, some scholars generally believe that the ancestors of the Floresian hobbits were Homo habilitas , even more primitive hominids, and then it becomes quite confusing and incredible.
Skills and properties
Tolkien describes his hobbits as creatures of extremely dexterous, skillful hands, smart, but a little disliked innovations, accustomed to a measured and quiet life.
And what do we know about Flores people? Dexterity and skillfulness are evidenced by the fact that they made numerous stone tools of a small size (just under their small handles). And, judging by the experiments of scientists, to make a normal stone tool for yourself is still a task, and you need to be smart enough to achieve success in stone processing.
As for quick thinking, there is a double impression. On the one hand, survival on the island among giant (up to half a meter long!) Rats and other monsters, and making difficult tools is a clear sign of good thinking abilities. On the other hand, a brain of four hundred cubic centimeters is like an average for a chimpanzee, and they, in comparison with humans, are not too smart.
So it turns out: it seems and not fools, but it seems and not too smart. Just like Tolkien.
The Hobbits and the world around them
In The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, Tolkien describes the external world, full of dangers, into which the brave halflings came across, faced with different kinds of monsters, some of which helped the hobbits and others diligently interfered or even tried to destroy them.
The primitive halflings of Flores, despite the small area of the island, were extremely “lucky” in terms of the neighborhood with the monsters.
Remember the giant Eagles from the world of Middle-earth. They were the envoys of the great Valar Manwe, who at the right time more than once saved not only the hobbits, but all the rest. Florence was like that. Huge marabou storks rising to 1.80 m for meter-long homo floresiences should have seemed something truly monstrous. And it was unlikely that the marabou would help them with anything — according to some information, on the contrary: they could have easily carried away their children like some kind of chickens. http://www.membrana.ru/particle/4606
The monstrous mummies are the elephant-like giant creatures brought to Gondor by Sauron’s allies, oriental people from Haradrim. One of them in Peter Jackson’s film “The Return of the King” was deftly deflated by the elf Legolas.
There was something similar on Florence, but in the most bizarre way it fell on its head. In the isolation of the island, local elephants, stegodons , dramatically decreased in size, becoming a half meter creatures. Being not too smart animals, these elephants became a victim of the floresiences: those cute meter hobbits exterminated them. And they slaughtered the stegodons even more than once: twice these elephants fell on the island and were twice eaten.
Well, how not to recall the main antagonist Bilbo and the dwarves from the Hobbit, the dragon Smaug, on the opposition to which this work was actually built? There was a place in the world of Florests even for a dragon, and not just one. In the role of a terrible reptile here were four-meter lizards - predatory lizards, which to the meter hobbits clearly seemed unthinkable horrible monsters. It is pretty obvious that meeting this with homo floresiensis often ended with a dinosaur.
Death of the hobbits
What else can be related to real homo floresiences with fictional Tolkien hobbits? And that's what. Volcano! And if in “The Lord of the Rings” it was rather the purpose of Frodo's journey, then the place where he won after many trials, throwing the one-man ring into Orodruin’s mouth, then with homo floresiences everything was much sadder. One of the possible reasons for their extinction, scientists believe is just a volcanic eruption, since the layers where the hobbit bones are found are covered with a layer of volcanic ash, and no hobbit bones were found above this layer.
However, there is another hypothesis, and it also combines well with the "Lord of the Rings." Orcs - one of the main opponents of the hobbits and people, at the end of the work, in the chapter “Desecrated Hobbitia” capture the country of halflings, arranging a targeted genocide that interrupts the returning Frodo with his friends. In the book, the uprising raised by hobbits turned out to be able to drive the enemies away. Everything in life was not so successful, but our ancestors, homo sapiens, were in the role of orcs.
In addition to volcanic activity, the time of extinction of the hobbits on Flores very suspiciously coincides with the time of appearance of sapiens in this region. A neighborhood with sapiens for many autochthonous species of people or animals always leads to the extinction of the latter. So it was with megafauna in Australia and America, with Neanderthals in Europe and Asia. And in the later layers on the island of Flores, the bones and tools of modern people were found.
So it is quite possible that it was the people who destroyed the Floresian hobbits, the last surviving volcanic problems. Moreover, the current inhabitants of Flores, the pygmies of rampas, wrote down in the XIX century a curious legend that when their ancestors came to the island, they met there shaggy little forest people who spoke in a strange chirping language. At first, the pygmies became friends with them and called them ecu-goy, which in their language meant “voracious grandmothers”. But when the ebu-gogo began to steal their food and children, people killed them, and the latter were driven into a cave, covered with trees and burned. Here and the fairy tale is over.
These parallels can be found between the fictional Tolkien hobbits and real creatures living on the planet, our rather distant relatives. It's funny that when scientists told rampas about the excavated hobbits, they immediately had a legend that the small ebu-goy are their ancestors. Reality and fantasy again wonderfully intertwined, and we witnessed how right before our eyes a new layer of this modern myth is created, in which there is Middle-earth, and hobbits, and real pygmies, and hominids, which are tens of thousands of years old.