Skull Finds Challenge Theories Of Human Colonisation
New discoveries in Eurasia are challenging old beliefs that homo sapiens evolved solely on the African continent.
Scientists have found a few 1.8 million years old skulls in Dmanisi, a medieval village near Tblisi in Georgia. The skulls are the oldest remains ever found outside Africa, and they suggest humans left Africa much earlier than previously believed.
The bone fragments and skulls are more primitive than Homo erectus, which was previously thought to have been the first hominins to have left Africa, around 1 million years ago. Scientists now believe the hominins found in Georgia may be the ancesters of Homo erectus, and probably migrated back to Africa after a long period in Eurasia.
The only human fossil to predate the Dmanisi specimens are of an archaic species Homo habilis, or "handy man", found only in Africa, which used simple stone tools and lived between about 2.5 million and 1.6 million years ago.