Ocupações humanas em Dmanisi (Cáucaso georgiano) são mais antigas do que antes se pensava

terça-feira, junho 07, 2011

Earliest human occupations at Dmanisi (Georgian Caucasus) dated to 1.85–1.78 Ma

Reid Ferring a,1, Oriol Oms b, Jordi Agustí c, Francesco Berna d,2, Medea Nioradze e, Teona Shelia e, Martha Tappen f, Abesalom Vekua e, David Zhvania e, and David Lordkipanidze e,1

Author Affiliations

aDepartment of Geography, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203;
bDepartment of Geology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain;
cInstitute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution, Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies, 43005 Tarragona, Spain;
dDepartment of Earth Sciences “Ardito Desio,” Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy;
eGeorgian National Museum, 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia; and
fDepartment of Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Contributed by David Lordkipanidze, April 28, 2011 (sent for review February 27, 2011)


The early Pleistocene colonization of temperate Eurasia by Homo erectus was not only a significant biogeographic event but also a major evolutionary threshold. Dmanisi's rich collection of hominin fossils, revealing a population that was small-brained with both primitive and derived skeletal traits, has been dated to the earliest Upper Matuyama chron (ca. 1.77 Ma). Here we present archaeological and geologic evidence that push back Dmanisi's first occupations to shortly after 1.85 Ma and document repeated use of the site over the last half of the Olduvai subchron, 1.85–1.78 Ma. These discoveries show that the southern Caucasus was occupied repeatedly before Dmanisi's hominin fossil assemblage accumulated, strengthening the probability that this was part of a core area for the colonization of Eurasia. The secure age for Dmanisi's first occupations reveals that Eurasia was probably occupied before Homo erectus appears in the East African fossil record.

Lower Paleolithic, paleoanthropology


1To whom correspondence may be addressed. E-mail: ferring@unt.edu ordlordkipanidze@museum.ge.

2Present address: Archaeology Department, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215.

Author contributions: R.F. and D.L. designed research; R.F., O.O., J.A., F.B., M.N., T.S., M.T., A.V., and D.Z. performed research; R.F., O.O., F.B., and M.T. analyzed data; M.N., T.S., and D.Z. conducted fieldwork; and R.F. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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