Where is Homo georgicus now?

Homo georgicus
Homo georgicus is the subspecies name used to describe fossil jaws found in Dmanisi, Georgia.
The first bone found of Dmanisi was a mandible in 1991. It was discovered while archaeologists were excavating a medieval site. Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.22.47 PMIt is known as ‘Dmanisi Man’, and was initially proposed as a sub-species of Homo erectus but it is now classified as a separate species. The finding of Dmanisi shattered the basis of the firmly establish hypothesis on the initial origin and settlement of humans. It was 1.5 million years old, indisputably the oldest man in Eurasia (Vekua & Lordkipanidze, 2010).

There was a large amount of criticism surrounding Dmanisi. Gabon et al discussed this disparagement in Evolutionary Anthropology in 2001. Some criticism came from basing an entirely new species on a single mandible. Some related the mandible of Dmanisi Man to that of Homo erectus. However, since the original discovery, paleoanthropologists have uncovered 5 skulls, 5 mandibles, 12 isolated teeth, and about 50 post cranial skeletons (Vekua & Lordkipanidze, 2010). Four hominids have been recovered from Dmanisi. The mandible and metatarsals were found first. But in 1999, two partial crania were discovered. Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 2.36.41 PMOne of the crania had a complete face. This face was vastly different than that of erectus, and therefore was further evidence towards them being two different species (Gabunia, et al, 2001).

The age of Dmanisi hominids and fauna has been questioned. Therefore, dating has been verified using multiple lines of evidence, including the geomagnetic polarity of the sediments, the radiometric age of the Masavera Basalt, and biogeographic indicators of age (particularly micro mammal fauna). 250px-Homo_Georgicus_IMG_2921Ar/Ar analyses indicate and Olduvai Subchron age (1.78mya to 1.95mya.) Another criticism with Homo georgicus was that it predated Achulean tools. It was long held that Achulean technology and innovation was one of the prerequisites of dispersal, however Dmanisi did not have this. Due to this, Gabunia, et al hypothesized that early dispersal may be been driven more by biological and ecological factors than by technological breakthroughs.

Gabunia, et al argues that whether you believe Homo egaster and Homo erectus are the same species, it is very evident that Dmanisi hominids clearly resemble early African fossils more closely than they do Asian erectus fossils.


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