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.
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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.