Skull Find Shakes Up Theories on Early Humanity

Remains found in Georgia suggest mankind's evolution had Eurasian chapter
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2009 6:06 AM CDT
This skull was one of five remains of primitive humans found at the Dminisi archaeological site near Tbilisi.   (Georgian National Museum)
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(Newser) – Theories of human evolution have been thrown into disarray by ancient human remains found in Georgia, the Independent reports. The skulls, unearthed near Tbilisi, are from 1.8 million years ago, 800,000 years before modern humanity's ancestors were believed to have first moved out of Africa. The find, scientists say, suggests our ancient ancestors evolved into modern humans in Eurasia before migrating back to Africa.

Researchers believe the early humans found had brains around half the size of those of modern humans, walked upright, and were proficient tool makers. "The Dmanisi hominins are the earliest representatives of our own genus—Homo—outside Africa," a Georgian professor said. "They might be ancestral to all later Homo erectus populations, which would suggest a Eurasian origin of Homo erectus."

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