Liang Bua Cave


Liang Bua is a limestone cave on the island of Flores Indonesia. The site is slightly north of the town of Ruteng in Manggarai Regency (kabupaten) in East Nusa Tenggara province.

The cave was the site of the 2003 discovery of a potentially new species of Homo genus, Homo floresiensis, the remains of which are coded LB1, LB2, etc., after the cave. The Indonesian field coordinator of the excavation team, Thomas Sutikna, was preparing to close up the dig at Liang Bua when the first indications of the important fossils were uncovered. So far it is the only location in which such remains have been identified although archeological work in the nearby Soa Valley in Ngada Regency appears to support findings from the Liang Bua site. In 2013, a 3D model of the cave created via laser scanning was made available online by the Smithsonian Institution.

There is continuing disagreement amongst scientists as to whether the discoveries represent a new and distinct hominid species. On one hand, some experts on human origin argue that the discoveries represent a distinct species that lived in relatively modern times. Others argue that it is more likely that the bones of the most complete individual found in Liang Bua (individual LB1) are those of a local person who was, quite likely, simply suffering from a medical condition (perhaps Down Syndrome) rather than indicating that a unique species of Homo lived in Flores.

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. No hotel is available in Liang Bua.  The nearest hotel or motel is in Ruteng pending availability.  Rima Hotel, Losmen Agung, Hotel Sindha and Hotel Dahlia are good choices to stay in Ruteng.

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