Postcranial evidence from early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia

David Lordkipanidze, Tea Jashashvili, Abesalom Vekua, Marcia S Ponce De León, Christoph P E Zollikofer, G. Philip Rightmire, Herman Pontzer, Reid Ferring, Oriol Oms, Martha Tappen, Maia Bukhsianidze, Jordi Agusti, Ralf Kahlke, Gocha Kiladze, Bienvenido Martinez-Navarro, Alexander Mouskhelishvili, Medea Nioradze, Lorenzo Rook

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The Plio-Pleistocene site of Dmanisi, Georgia, has yielded a rich fossil and archaeological record documenting an early presence of the genus Homo outside Africa. Although the craniomandibular morphology of early Homo is well known as a result of finds from Dmanisi and African localities, data about its postcranial morphology are still relatively scarce. Here we describe newly excavated postcranial material from Dmanisi comprising a partial skeleton of an adolescent individual, associated with skull D2700/D2735, and the remains from three adult individuals. This material shows that the postcranial anatomy of the Dmanisi hominins has a surprising mosaic of primitive and derived features. The primitive features include a small body size, a low encephalization quotient and absence of humeral torsion; the derived features include modern-human-like body proportions and lower limb morphology indicative of the capability for long-distance travel. Thus, the earliest known hominins to have lived outside of Africa in the temperate zones of Eurasia did not yet display the full set of derived skeletal features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-310
Number of pages6
Issue number7160
StatePublished - Sep 20 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We acknowledge H. Herrmer for identification of cheetah remains from Dmanisi; M. Delfino for providing a revision of the amphibian and reptilian fauna; E. Trinkaus and M. Häusler for comments; G. Bumbiashvili and N. Andriashvili for the photographs; and the excavation team for constant support. Palaeomagnetic measurements were carried out at the SCT of the Barcelona University. This work was supported by a grant of the Georgian National Science Foundation, a Rolex award for enterprise, BP Georgia, the National Geographic Society, a Dan David 2003 scholarship, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Strategic Research Funds of the University of Zurich, Wenner-Gren Foundation short-term fellowships, the Fundación Duques de Soria, a CNRS international research project grant, ECO-NET (a joint international project of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs between France, Georgia and Azerbaijan), The Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (DGPCC-V), the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, the Consejeria de Cultura de Andalucia, The National Science Foundation (USA) and the L. S. B. Leakey Foundation.


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