Enroll in a Free Online Course about ‘The Hobbits’ (aka Homo floresiensis)

You might have seen a new type of ancient human on the news recent­ly, nick­named, affec­tion­ate­ly, ‘the hob­bit’ (not because they were tak­ing the ring to Mor­dor, but because of their rather diminu­tive stature).

If you didn’t, here’s the news in brief: a team of sci­en­tists went dig­ging for the first Aus­tralians and instead found a com­plete­ly new (and tiny) ancient human. Since then they’ve been try­ing to work out what hap­pened to these small ances­tors of ours.

To share their find­ings, some of the sci­en­tists involved in under­stand­ing ‘the hob­bit’ have put togeth­er a 4 week free online course to explain how the dis­cov­ery unfold­ed…

The course has been cre­at­ed with Future­Learn and will take you inside the world of this new species, giv­ing you a run through mod­ern sci­en­tif­ic archae­o­log­i­cal tech­niques along the way.

Here’s what’s on the syl­labus:

Week 1 — Human Ori­gins and Intro­duc­tion to Archae­ol­o­gy

Learn about where you, me and every­one came from — before get­ting onto the moment ‘the hob­bit’ was dis­cov­ered.

Week 2 — Archae­o­log­i­cal Meth­ods: In the Cave

You think a fes­ti­val is bad? Get to grips with how sci­ence trans­lates in some­where with­out elec­tric­i­ty or water.

Week 3 — Archae­o­log­i­cal Sci­ence: In the Lab

Under­stand what hap­pens once all the archae­o­log­i­cal finds are del­i­cate­ly hauled back to the lab.

Week 4 — Future Direc­tions

‘The Hob­bit’, despite it’s size, is hav­ing a big impact in the world of archae­ol­o­gy — find out exact­ly what this lit­tle ancient human might mean for the sto­ry of our ori­gins.

Intrigued? Join the course today — it start­ed this week, and you’re not too late to join.

Jess Weeks is a copy­writer at Future­Learn. She has nev­er con­duct­ed ground-break­ing sci­ence in a cave, or dis­cov­ered a new species, but there’s still time.

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