Homo GeorgicusThis print version free essay Homo Georgicus.
Autor: reviewessays 05 March 2011
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Approximately 2.0 million years ago several findings regarding early human ancestors were made in East Africa. Some of these discoveries were made along lakeshores and beaches. Here paleoanthropologists discovered large male structures. And ever since, new discoveries of these hominids, as they are called, have been made every year all over the world. Paleoanthropologists have come to the agreement that these hominids that were found in Africa are all members of the genus Homo, and with some morphological differences among them, there are taxonomic debates that focus on how many hominid species actually existed. Many of the evidence excavators have collected goes to a type of hominid known as Homo erectus; however, those discoveries that were made in different parts of the world have made way to other types of hominids (Jurmain, page 297). Therefore, in the following paragraphs IÐ²Ð‚â„¢m going to mainly focus on one particular type of hominid that is known as Homo georgicus, and IÐ²Ð‚â„¢m going to discuss the interesting findings and aspects that lie behind this specific hominid.
It is estimated that about 1.75 to 1.8 mya Homo georgicus made its first appearance into the world. The first discoveries of H. georgicus were made in the year 2001, in Dmanisi, a site located in the Republic of Georgia (Ð²Ð‚ÑšHominid SpeciesÐ²Ð‚Ñœ). The first person to discover H. georgicus was a scientist named David Lordkipanidze. He assumed that the discoveries he had made were remains of another hominid specie known as Homo ergaster, however, later in 2002 this hominid was given a name of its own (Jones, pages 243-251).
Several interesting fossil remains of H. georgicus were found in Dmanisi. The fossils discovered in 2001 consisted of a complete skull, which in fact was in good condition that included a lower jaw. It had a Ð²Ð‚Ñšless-robust and thinner browridge, a projecting lower face, and relatively large upper canineÐ²Ð‚Ñœ (Jurmain, page 302). This skull was around 600cc and was said to be one of the smallest hominid skull ever discovered outside of Africa. Furthermore, two other discoveries were made earlier in 1999 at the same location in Dmanisi. One of them consisted of an almost complete braincase with a 780cc brain size. The other skull found was a cranium that only included the facial and upper jaw bones. This cranium had a brain size of about 650cc, making it a big bigger that the other one found (Ð²Ð‚ÑšHominid SpeciesÐ²Ð‚Ñœ). Now the fourth and most recently discovery made in 2002 in Dmanisi, was the most interesting of all. This fourth discovery consisted of an almost complete cranium, which was said to be of an older male. Something that made this discovery interesting was the fact that this skull was found only with one tooth, and due to the resorption of the jawbones tells us that this hominid probably went years without teeth (Jurmain, page 302). These are just some of the first and interesting discoveries made of H. georgicus.
Besides the interesting discoveries made, there are several interesting characteristics behind H. georgicus. Based on the discoveries made, H. georgicus was said to have a brain size ranging from 600cc to 780cc. Their height was estimated to be about 1.5m or in other words 4Ð²Ð‚â„¢11Ð²Ð‚â„¢Ð²Ð‚â„¢ (Ð²Ð‚ÑšHominid SpeciesÐ²Ð‚Ñœ). Furthermore, a Dmanisi mandible with complete dentition was found in 1991. The jaw and teeth size on this mandible were well compared with those of the H. erectus, however, the molars were smaller in size which lets us presume that this mandible could have possibly belonged to H. georgicus. With this being said, this also lets us know in a way that this hominid could possible have had good dental characteristics (Delson, page 213).
Regarding behavioral evidence on H. georgicus, certain things have also been found. Alongside the fossil remains found in Dmanisi, implements and some animal bones were also found, which may suggest that these hominids were hunters (Jones, page 246). In addition, researchers also discovered stone tools that were similar to early ones found in Africa, with the only difference that they seemed more quite advanced than those of the Acheulian industry that are associated with tools H. erectus used (Jurmain, page 303).
So what do these discoveries tell us regarding these ancient H. georgicus hominids? These findings that were made in Dmanisi suggest that H. georgicus, as an earlier form of H. erectus, could have possibly been the first hominids to leave Africa and migrate to other parts of the world. Making note of the fact that these hominids were short and had smaller brains, have led researchers to believe that the remains found in Dmanisi are those of women. Though the fourth skull that was found clearly is the one of a man, the cranial capacity was no greater than the others. However, researchers think that these hominids could have been quite sexually dimorphic (Jurmain, page 303). Overall, as I mentioned before many of these findings go to an earlier form of H. erectus, however, these discoveries made in Dmanisi are the ones associated with H. georgicus hominids.
Delson, Eric. Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory. New York: Garland Publishing,
Ð²Ð‚ÑšHominid SpeciesÐ²Ð‚Ñœ. October 2004.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/species.html. 14 April 2008.
Jones, Steve. Encyclopedia of Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Jurmain, Robert, et al. Introduction to Physical Anthropology. Belmont: Thomson, 2005-2008.