Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Dmanisi

Archaeological site found in 1936 on the eastern edge of the Black Sea in Georgia, the Caucasus, southern Russia, dated to possibly 1.8-1.6 mya, and that contains both stone artifacts and hominid remains found in 1989 including a fossil mandible (D211) provisionally assigned to Homo erectus. The site was reworked in 1999 and yielded choppers, chopping tools and their cores, animal bones of fauna found today only in Africa (giraffe, gazelle, rhinoceros, ostrich), and two partial hominid craniofacial specimens with cranial capacities of 650 cm3 (D2282) and 780 cm3 (D2280) provisionally attributed to Homo ergaster; the date was confirmed at 1.75 mya. A third, more complete and even smaller (600 cm3, juvenile), almost habiline-like cranium (D2700, attributed provisionally to Homo georgicus) with an associated mandible (D2735) was reported in 2000-02. The smallness of these habiline-like specimens calls into question the idea that tall, large-brained erectines were the first to walk out of Africa I.

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