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Paleontological, archaeological, geochronological, and paleomagnetic data from Dmanisi all indicate an earliest Pleistocene age of about 1.8 MA


Dmanisi Skulles
The Oldest Hominid Site Found in Eurasia

Skull Found in Georgia-Photograph by Gouram Tsibakhashvili
The 1.75-million-year-old skull on the left-recently discovered in the republic of Georgia-is forcing scientists to rethink humanity's first great migration. Most paleoanthropologists had long believed that the first humans to leave Africa looked something like Nariokotome boy (cast, right), an African Homo erectus specimen. The new Georgian skull looks far more primitive. It has a tiny braincase, a small nose, a thin browridge, and large canine teeth-features that give it the look of a more distant, chimplike human ancestor, Homo habilis.

Dmanisi Hominids Reconstructed by Elisabeth Daynes (Photo by Philippe Playlly)
They may well be ancestors of every Asian, European and Native American alive today.



Dmanisi
Place where they found earliest Pleistocene age of about 1.8 MA

Glimpse of an Ancient Ecosystem
Excavators led by David Lordkipanidze of the Georgian State Museum (in blue vest) examined stone tools and fossil deer antlers at Dmanisi. The team has found fossils of as many as six individual hominids here, as well as saber-toothed cats, giraffes, ostriches, rhinos, wolves, deer, and many other animals. Dmanisi gives scientists a rare opportunity to reconstruct an early human population's environment, from climate to predator-prey relationships.

Fossils in the Ruins
The new skull was found on a hill among the ruins of a medieval village called Dmanisi, a few hours from Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. The dig (under blue canopy) has been producing fossils of early humans since the early 1990s.