Skull Discovery Forces Us to Rethink Human Evolution
California Academy of Sciences - California Academy of Sciences
David Lordkipanidze’s research team has yielded a treasure of protohuman fossils, dated to 1.8 million years ago, from the site at Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia. The Dmanisi discoveries document the first expansion of hominins out of Africa and into Eurasia, and show that this was neither due to increased brain size, nor to improved technology. Dmanisi gives us an opportunity to study early hominins within a short span of time and see the variability of early Homo within one population. The Dmanisi sample, which now comprises five crania, provides direct evidence for wide variation within an early Homo population, moreover one outside Africa. The fossils are remarkably well-preserved, and the recently published Skull 5 represents the world’s most complete skull of early Homo. The study of this specimen yields new evidence on the evolutionary biology of early Homo and supports the idea of the existence of a single evolving lineage of early Homo. David Lordkipanidze, is the General Director of the National Museum of Georgia and has authored over 100 scientific articles published in journals such as Nature, Science Magazine, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of USA, Journal of Human Evolution and more. He is regularly featured in the popular scientific magazines such as National Geographic magazine, GEO magazine, and Scientific American.