Dmanisi reconsidered

Implications of LD 50-1 jawbone and Spoor H. habilis study for ‘variable single species’ theory

In October 2013, Lordkipanidze and his colleagues reported the discovery of an adult skull from Dmanisi, Georgia. The fifth skull to be discovered at the site, it was complete and undeformed; it is the only known fully-preserved adult hominin skull from the early Pleistocene. They also put forward the radical suggestion that the various species often proposed for early African Homo (Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster and Homo erectus) were all actually variants of the same species, and that early Homo was a single lineage which evolved over time without differentiating into multiple species. This conclusion is based on a claim that shape variation between the five Dmanisi skulls is roughly the same as that seen among the various early Homo skulls from East Africa, even though the former represents a single species and the latter are generally thought to represent several (Lordkipanidze, et al., 2013).

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Were multiple early human species living in Georgia, 1.85 million years ago?

New skull with ‘enigmatic’ jawbone and differing tool technologies suggests that two different hominin groups are represented by Dmanisi remains.

The former Soviet republic of Georgia is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Lying on the eastern shores of the Black Sea, it was the destination of Jason and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece, but long before this it was a stopping point for the earliest-known hominin migration out of Africa. Continue reading