A complete skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the evolutionary biology of early Homo

David Lordkipanidze, Marcia S. De Ponce León, Ann Margvelashvili, Yoel Rak, G. Philip Rightmire, Abesalom Vekua, Christoph P.E. Zollikofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The site of Dmanisi, Georgia, has yielded an impressive sample of hominid cranial and postcranial remains, documenting the presence of Homo outside Africa around 1.8 million years ago. Here we report on a new cranium from Dmanisi (D4500) that, together with its mandible (D2600), represents the world's first completely preserved adult hominid skull from the early Pleistocene. D4500/D2600 combines a small braincase (546 cubic centimeters) with a large prognathic face and exhibits close morphological affinities with the earliest known Homo fossils from Africa. The Dmanisi sample, which now comprises five crania, provides direct evidence for wide morphological variation within and among early Homo paleodemes. This implies the existence of a single evolving lineage of early Homo, with phylogeographic continuity across continents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages6
JournalScience
Volume342
Issue number6156
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

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