A fourth hominin skull from Dmanisi, Georgia

David Lordkipanidze, Abesalom Vekua, Reid Ferring, G. Philip Rightmire, Christoph P E Zollikofer, Marcia S Ponce De León, Jordi Agusti, Gocha Kiladze, Alexander Mouskhelishvili, Medea Nioradze, Martha Tappen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations

Abstract

Newly discovered Homo remains, stone artifacts, and animal fossils from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, provide a basis for better understanding patterns of hominin evolution and behavior in Eurasia ca. 1.77 million years ago. Here we describe a fourth skull that is nearly complete, lacking all but one of its teeth at the time of death. Both the maxillae and the mandible exhibit extensive bone loss due to resorption. This individual is similar to others from the site but supplies information about variation in brain size and craniofacial anatomy within the Dmanisi paleodeme. Although this assemblage presents numerous primitive characters, the Dmanisi skulls are best accommodated within the species H. erectus. On anatomical grounds, it is argued that the relatively small-brained and lightly built Dmanisi hominins may be ancestral to African and Far Eastern branches of H. erectus showing more derived morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1146-1157
Number of pages12
JournalAnatomical Record - Part A Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology
Volume288
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • Craniofacial morphology
  • Early Pleistocene
  • Homo erectus
  • Human evolution
  • Paleodeme
  • Species
  • Systematics

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