Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Hominid Fossils from Dmanisi - Their Place Among Early Hominids

The debate about the first dispersal of humans out of Africa, one of the problematic questions for palaeoanthropologists, has been reopened by the discovery of  Homo remains, 4 craniums and 4 mandibles, as well as several post-cranial remains, stone artefacts of Olduvai type Mode 1 (Nioradz & Justus, 2000) and faunal fossils suggesting a latest Pliocene-Pleistocene age, that were recovered from the Dmanisi site, dated to 1.81 Ma by Ar40/Ar39 dating. There are many primitive characters associated with the Dmanisi paleodeme, that are typical to early African Hominids, but also similarities that are quite large with Homo erectus, and is probably better accommodated to the latter species. The population at Dmanisi was a small-brained, the authors1 suggesting  they could have been ancestors to African and Far Eastern branches of H. erectus, as they had more derived morphology.


The authors1 conclusion

The authors1 concluded that the hominid from Dmanisi must have been a species with a small brain, with a narrow, highly inclined forehead, moderately developed supraorbital arch, distinctive mid-face prognathism, a nose and alveolar arch that were comparatively narrow, and a cranial capacity that was remarkably small. These hominids are close to a stem, from which other allopatric groups of H. erectus developed. The data is unfailing evidence for regarding the Dmanisi paleodeme as ancestral to African and Far Eastern branches of the species (Rightmire, Lordkipanidze & Vekua, 2005). It is suggested by the Dmanisi find that movement of population from Africa to the Caucuses, and finally southern Asia and the Far East, via the Levantine corridor.

Sources & Further reading

  1. Lordkipanidze, David, Abesalom Vekua, Philip G. Rightmire, Ann Margvelashvili, 2007, Hominid Fossils from Dmanisi and Their Place Among the Early Hominids, Bull. Georg. Natl. Acad. Sci.


Author: M. H. Monroe
Last updated: 21/10/2013
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