Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Robin Smith


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 Homo erectus 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 Homo erectus. 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 Homo habilis and Homo erectus. They propose a new species called Homo georgicus, that fits between Homo habilis and Homo erectus. Using comparative analysis, I will demonstrate that the remains found at Dmanisi are in fact Homo erectus, and that the species as a whole contained many variable skeletal features throughout various populations, challenging current taxonomy and placing many species of Homo in the new Homo erectus spectrum.



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