Scientists discovered a whole skull of an ancient human progenitor at the archaeological site of Dmanisi, a small village in southern Georgia, Europe. The skull belongs to an ancient hominid that lived 1.85 million years ago!
Skull 5 or D4500 is a perfectly intact archaeological specimen with a large face, massive teeth, and a small braincase. It was one of five ancient hominin skulls discovered in Dmanisi, prompting academics to rethink early human evolution theories.
The researchers write, “The data gives the first suggestion that early Homo included adult inpiduals with small brains but body mass, height, and limb proportions above the lower range limit of contemporary variance.”
Dmanisi is a hamlet and archaeological site in Georgia’s Kvemo Kartli region, located in the Mashavera river valley, 93 kilometers southwest of the country’s capital Tbilisi. The 1.8 million-year-old hominid site was discovered.
Many separate species in the genus Homo were in actuality a common lineage, according to a series of skulls uncovered in Dmanisi in the early 2010s with varied physical traits. The fifth skull discovered in Dmanisi is Skull 5, commonly known as the “D4500.”
Until the 1980s, scientists believed that hominins were limited to Africa throughout the entire Early Pleistocene (until roughly 0.8 million years ago), only leaving during the Out of Africa I era. As a consequence, Africa received a disproportionately large share of the archaeological endeavor.
The Dmanisi archaeological site, on the other hand, is the oldest hominin site found outside of Africa, and an examination of its artifacts indicated that some hominins, particularly Homo erectus georgicus, left Africa as early as 1.85 million years ago. The age of the five skulls is almost the same.
The Skull 5 is thought to represent a typical version of Homo erectus, the human ancestors unearthed in Africa about the same time. While others speculate that it was Australopithecus sediba, a 1.9 million-year-old ape that lived in what is now South Africa and is regarded to be the origin of the genus Homo, which includes contemporary humans.
Many scientists have proposed countless new ideas, yet we still lack a true portrait of our own history.