Liang Bua Cave

Liang Bua is a prehistoric relic in Indonesia. The cave is one of the many karst caves on Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia. Liang Bua Cave is a place of discovery of human-like creatures (hominins) has named Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua on 2001 in Manggarai language means "cave or hole cool".

In Liang Bua Cave there are stalactites and stalagmites in the cave. In olden days, the cave used to be a dwelling place to the local people as well as the school for the neighboring villages. The cave is located at Rampasasa Hamlet, Liangbua Village, Ruteng District, Manggarai Regency, about 12 km northwest of Ruteng. It is easy to get there by motorbike and truck.

Liang Bua cave site is one of the world's most important archaeological sites. Excavations in Liang Bua cave near Ruteng have unearthed fossilized bones of a human species the adults of which reached a height of only 105 cm on average. The excavations took place in 2003 and subsequent years, the remains of at least 7 individuals have been discovered. The scientific name of the species is homo floresiensis, but the nickname “Flores hobbit” has become more popular.

The fossils were found under layers of about 6 m volcanic ash and mud, and were associated with stone tools and fossils of animals, such as komodo lizards and small-sized stegodon (kind of elephants). They were dated between 30,000 and 18,000 years ago.

The debate is still ongoing where to place these mini-humans on the evolutionary tree, but the prevalent explanation is that they are homo sapiens whose size had gradually diminished. This is known as dwarfism and not uncommon among animal species living on an island.

The large cave is half open facing a river valley, and it is easy to see that it was an attractive dwelling place to prehistoric man. If you are willing to spend another Rp 50,000 apart from the voluntary donation in the guest book, a ‘real’ hobbit man will present himself. Despite its famous archaeological findings, no replica or information about these findings is located in Liang Bua. Visitors can only see the massive cave with stalagmite stones, imaginating that ancient elephants, komodo and short humans (Homo floresiensis) once lived here thousands of years ago. Near Liang Bua, there are other caves such as Gua Galang (with bathing stones) and Gua Tanah. You can walk to these caves.

To reach Liang Bua Cave, you can accompany by guide, but can also find the location on your own. From Jalan Komodo (the road to Labuan Bajo) follow the road north direction Reo for 2,5 km. There take the sealed road on your left, through Lalong village. After 14 km on this road you reach the entrance porch; the cave is 1 km beyond the porch.

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