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LU professor receives an international Field Discovery Award

THUNDER BAY -- Lakehead University’s Dr. Matt Tocheri is being recognized by the Shanghai Archaeology Forum for his research on Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia.
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Lakehead University’s Dr. Matt Tocheri (Supplied)

THUNDER BAY -- Lakehead University’s Dr. Matt Tocheri is being recognized by the Shanghai Archaeology Forum for his research on Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia.

“It is a great honour to receive a 2017 Field Discovery Award with my collaborator and friend Dr. Thomas Sutikna,” said Dr. Tocheri, Canada Research Chair in Human Origins at Lakehead University and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program.

Eight years of further excavations and study at the Indonesian cave site of Liang Bua pushed back the time of disappearance of the ‘hobbits’ of Flores (Homo floresiensis) from as recently as 12,000 years ago to about 60-50,000 years ago – around the same time that modern humans (Homo sapiens) first dispersed through the wider region and reached Australia.

The new findings were published in Nature in 2016 in an article entitled Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia. Dr. Sutikna from the University of Wollongong recently travelled to Shanghai to give a presentation about the research and to participate in the award ceremony.

“Archaeological fieldwork is extremely challenging at the best of times and especially in remote areas like Flores,” Dr. Tocheri said. “To receive such recognition from our peers for our research is really special and I am very grateful to the Shanghai Archaeology Forum Selection Committee for their effort in reviewing all of this year’s nominations.”

Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Lakehead University’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation, congratulated Dr. Tocheri and Dr. Sutikna.

“This award recognizes the many years that Dr. Tocheri and Dr. Sutikna have spent excavating the physical and cultural remains of Homo floresiensis, which roamed the earth at the same time as our species,” Dr. Dean said.

“Thank you to the Shanghai Archaeology Forum Selection Committee for this recognition and thank you to Dr. Tocheri and Dr. Sutikna for your expertise and dedication,” he added.