With this finding, long-held scientific theories on the evolutionary past of human beings were contested: was there a land connection between mainland Asia or Australia and Flores? Was the isolated island situation responsible for the dwindling size? Did modern human beings cross with the hobbit, or did a volcano eruption end to the hobbit population before modern human beings settled on Flores? Is it really a new kind of human being, or did it suffer from a disease causing dwarfism?
Father Verhoeven, a Catholic missionary of the SVD order, was the first to undertake archaeological excavation in Liang Bua. After Verhoeven, further research by Indonesian archaeologists was undertaken, confirming the assumption of human occupation. Archaeological excavation is still going on, with further discoveries of the bony remains of stegodons, varans, rats, birds, and stone artefacts. Old Manggaraian myths and tales about small people living in caves are still doing the rounds.
How to get there
Liang Bua is about 13km from Ruteng and the drive takes less than 40 minutes. There is also frequent public transport to Liang Bua. You can either take a bis kayu from the Kota Ruteng terminal or take abemo in the direction of Ruteng-Ranggi/Akel. The trip by public transport costs about RP 7,000 and takes a little longer than car or motorbike.