FeatureEvolution

The wanderers

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Science  25 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6315, pp. 958-961
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6315.958

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Summary

The famous site of Dmanisi, Georgia, offers an unparalleled glimpse into a harsh early chapter in human evolution, when primitive members of our genus Homo struggled to survive in a new land far north of their ancestors' African home, braving winters without clothes or fire and competing with fierce carnivores for meat. The 4-hectare site has yielded beautifully preserved fossils that are the oldest hominins known outside of Africa, including five skulls, about 50 skeletal bones, and an as-yet-unpublished pelvis unearthed 2 years ago. These fossils are showing that the first hominins to leave Africa were startlingly primitive, with small bodies about 1.5 meters tall, simple tools, and brains one-third to one-half the size of modern humans'.

  • * in Dmanisi, Georgia