Hominid Skull Dated at 1.8 Million Years Old Raises Evolution Controversy

Hominid Fossil Site

A 1.8 million year old hominid skull fossil was found at Dmanisi, a site in the Republic of Georgia. Scientists say they have made a discovery that may rewrite the evolutionary history of our human genus Homo.

David Lordkipanidze, director of the Georgian National Museum, who led the team, reported the discovery of the primitive skull was first found on August 5, 2005 — his birthday. “It was a very nice present,” he said.Hominid Fossil Site

“It’s a really extraordinary find,” said paleoanthropologist Dr. Marcia S. Ponce de León of the University of Zurich during a press conference on Wednesday where she announced the findings. “For the first time, we can see a population from the early Pleistocene. We only had individuals before. Now we can make comparisons and see the range of variation.”

The discovery of this hominid skull alongside the remains of four other hominids at Dmanisi, a site in Georgia the holds rich material of the earliest hominid travels into Eurasia, is being described as “the world’s first completely preserved adult hominid skull.”

Although the site has only been partially excavated so far, it is already providing the first opportunity for researchers to compare the physical traits of human ancestors that coincided in the same time and geological space.

Known simply as Skull #5, the fossilized head bones are most likely a male, whose brain was about one-third the size of a modern human brain. The skull has a “strange combination of features,” Dr. Ponce de Leon said. The face was relatively flat and long, with massive brows, a projecting jaw and big teeth.

The creature had a healed cheek fracture, a touch of arthritis and, by the evidence of wear, used his teeth for gripping things. He stood upright, with relatively modern arms and legs, the researchers said.

“Had the braincase and the face of Skull 5 been found as separate fossils at different sites in Africa, they might have been attributed to different species,” said study co-author Christoph Zollikofer from the Anthropological Institute and Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, in statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“[The Dmanisi finds] look quite different from one another, so it’s tempting to publish them as different species,” explained Zollikofer, co-author of a report about the findings published in the October 18 issue of Science. “Yet we know that these individuals came from the same location and the same geological time, so they could, in principle, represent a single population of a single species.”

1.8 Million Year old Skull Found In Georgia

Scientific community is fascinated by Georgia skull discovery that is the most complete sample ever found for early homo population. Skull 5, which comes from an ancient human ancestor found in Dmanisi,Georgia, implies that all Homo species were once one.

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