Dmanisi: A Taxonomic Revolution

Item

Title
Dmanisi: A Taxonomic Revolution
Author
Joshua L Henderson
Faculty Sponsor
Robin Smith
Abstract
<p>Over the past two decades, five different skulls have been found in the Dmanisi site located in the Republic of Georgia. These skulls are all very different in cranial features, but they are also some of the most complete and well preserved hominin skulls ever discovered. There is a major concern with these skulls, and with concern also comes controversy. We know that <em>Homo erectus</em> migrated from Africa into Eurasia. That is why some paleoanthropologists believe that, despite the cranial differences, the skulls found at the Dmanisi site all belong to <em>Homo erectus</em>. They claim that skeletal variations are common in a single species in multiple geographical locations. The opposing theory is that the remains seem to have both characteristics of <em>Homo habilis</em> and <em>Homo erectus</em>. They propose a new species called <em>Homo georgicus</em>, that fits between <em>Homo habilis</em> and <em>Homo erectus</em>. Using comparative analysis, I will demonstrate that the remains found at Dmanisi are in fact <em>Homo erectus</em>, and that the species as a whole contained many variable skeletal features throughout various populations, challenging current taxonomy and placing many species of <em>Homo </em>in the new <em>Homo erectus</em> spectrum.</p>
Subject
Archaeological Anthropology; Biological and Physical Anthropology
Dmanisi
Paleoanthropology
Archaeology
Biological Anthropology
Homo erectus
physical anthropology
Rights
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Type
Text
volume
4
Date Published
5/29/2015
Note
Robin Smith
Alternative Title
Dmanisi
Identifier
pure/vol4/iss1/4
Language
eng