Monday, October 21, 2013

Skull of Homo Erectus Throws Story of Human Evolution Into Disarray. By Ian Sample.

Skull of Homo erectus throws story of human evolution into disarray. By Ian Sample. The Guardian, October 17, 2013.

Stunning Skull Gives a Fresh Portrait of Early Humans. By Ann Gibbons. Science, Vol. 342, No. 6156 (October 18, 2013).

A Complete Skull from Dmanisi, Georgia, and the Evolutionary Biology of Early Homo. By David Lordkipanidze et al. Science, Vol. 342, No. 6156 (October 18, 2013). Supplementary Materials.


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.

COVER Photo of a 1.77-million-year-old complete adult skull (braincase volume: 546 cubic centimeters)
of early Homo from the site of Dmanisi, Georgia. Together with the fossilized bones of four additional individuals
discovered in close proximity, the skull indicates that populations of early Homo comprised a wider range
of morphological variation than traditionally assumed, which implies a single evolving lineage with continuity
across continents. See pages 297 and 326. Photo: © Guram Bumbiashvili/Georgian National Museum