The upper limbs are relatively primitive
Rama Setu: scientists find remains of vana-nara 1.77 million years old
“Writing on Wednesday in the journal Nature , the scientists described remains of three adults and one adolescent dating from about 1.77 million years ago, excavated at Dmanisi, about 88 kilometres southwest of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.”
1.77 million years ago ! This date reverberates and echoes the tretayuga in Bharatiya cosmology tradition.
Vaanara mentioned in Valmiki Ramayana are vana – nara (people in the forests). The vana-nara built the Rama Setu led by architects Nala and Neela. Considering that a rock-cut reservoir dated to over 4000 years ago has been found at Dholavira and that the grand anicut on River Kaveri built by Karikala Chola over 2000 years ago still stands as a monument to engineering skills of our ancestors, there is every reason to pursue researches into the historicity of Ramayana, an extraordinary cultural tradition received as social memory from generation to generation across many climes in the Hindumahaasaagara. Rama Setu is a monument of this Hindumahaasagara parivaar (Indian Ocean Community). The challenge of the present and future generations is to make this Indian Ocean Community a reality as was achieved constituting an European Community. Work can begin with Mekong (maa ganga) delta, Trans-Asian Railroad, Trans-Asian Highway and restoration of Angkor Wat and Prambanan hindu mandirams in Cambodia and Indonesia. Prambanan has a series of sculptural panels depicting Ramayana episodes. Rama is reality. We have to document this reality using multi-disciplinary studies such as the history of rice cultivation, palaeo-climate studies, geotectonic, geo-thermal studies in relation to plate tectonics evidenced by the Sunda thrust repeatedly causing earthquakes and tsunami-s in Bay of Bengal.
S. Kalyanaraman 21 Sept. 2007
Full text at http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/homo-dmanisi.html
1.75 Million Year Old Republic of Georgia
The fossils from six individual, including skulls, dated at 1.8 million years old, discovered in 2001 at the foot of the Caucasus mountains that separate the Black Sea from the Caspian Sea, has been claimed by some scientist as reinforcing the OUT of Africa theory for the evolution of Homo sapiens.However the surprise is that the skulls clearly show that these creatures had pea brains with a volume of half the size of Homo erectus. This has thrown all previous assumptions of the evolution of our ancestors into chaos.Previously it was thought that our ancestors that came out of Africa were large brained Homo erectus. The Dmanisi skull instead shows that these creatures had faces and bodies like those of chimps with long dangling arms and short legs.
Dmanisi looks more like Homo habilis, the creatures that started making primitive tools 2.4 million years ago in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. In fact it could be said that they looked more like 7 million year old Toumai from Chad than anything else yet found.A brilliant article by Rick Gore in the National Geographic of August 2002 gives a full account of the Georgian discovery.http://tinyurl.com/2mzmuw
Nature 449, 305-310 (20 September 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature06134; Received 16 April 2007; Accepted 30 July 2007
Postcranial evidence from early Homo from Dmanisi, Georgia
David Lordkipanidze1, Tea Jashashvili1,2, Abesalom Vekua1, Marcia S. Ponce de León2, Christoph P. E. Zollikofer2, G. Philip Rightmire3, Herman Pontzer4, Reid Ferring5, Oriol Oms6, Martha Tappen7, Maia Bukhsianidze1, Jordi Agusti8, Ralf Kahlke9, Gocha Kiladze1, Bienvenido Martinez-Navarro8, Alexander Mouskhelishvili1, Medea Nioradze10 & Lorenzo Rook11
1. Georgian National Museum, 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia
2. Anthropologisches Institut, Universität Zürich, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
3. Department of Anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
4. Department of Anthropology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri 63130, USA
5. Department of Geography, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas 76203, USA
6. Departament de Geologia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain
7. Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA
8. ICREA, Institute of Human Paleoecology, University Rovira i Virgili, 43005 Tarragona, Spain
9. Senckenberg Research Institute, 99423 Weimar, Germany
10. Othar Lordkipanidze Center for Archaeological Research, 0102 Tbilisi, Georgia
11. Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, 50121 Firenze, Italy
The Plio-Pleistocene site of Dmanisi, Georgia, has yielded a rich fossil and archaeological record documenting an early presence of the genus Homo outside Africa. Although the craniomandibular morphology of early Homo is well known as a result of finds from Dmanisi and African localities, data about its postcranial morphology are still relatively scarce. Here we describe newly excavated postcranial material from Dmanisi comprising a partial skeleton of an adolescent individual, associated with skull D2700/D2735, and the remains from three adult individuals. This material shows that the postcranial anatomy of the Dmanisi hominins has a surprising mosaic of primitive and derived features. The primitive features include a small body size, a low encephalization quotient and absence of humeral torsion; the derived features include modern-human-like body proportions and lower limb morphology indicative of the capability for long-distance travel. Thus, the earliest known hominins to have lived outside of Africa in the temperate zones of Eurasia did not yet display the full set of derived skeletal features.
Our ancestors had modern traits
21 Sep 2007, 0044 hrs IST,REUTERS
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WASHINGTON: The earliest-known human ancestors to migrate out of Africa possessed a surprising mix of human-like and primitive features, according to scientists who studied remains dug up at a fossil-rich site in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
Writing on Wednesday in the journal Nature , the scientists described remains of three adults and one adolescent dating from about 1.77 million years ago, excavated at Dmanisi, about 88 kilometres southwest of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
The remains shed light on a little-understood but critical period in human evolution — the transition from the more ape-like creatures known as australopithecines to the genus Homo, of which modern humans are a member.
The spines and lower limbs found at the Dmanisi site appear very much like modern humans, suggesting these individuals, which walked fully upright, were highly capable of long-distance treks, the researchers said.
But other aspects of the skeletons had more archaic characteristics. The arms were more like australopithecines than people, and the primitive skulls encased relatively small brains. Their simple stone tools also are less advanced than one might have expected, the researchers said. They described the remains as “a surprising mosaic” of primitive and modern features. “These are the earliest humans found outside of Africa. This is the time when our genus spread outside of Africa,” David Lordkipanidze of the Georgian National Museum, who led the research, said. “Their heads are primitive. Their legs are very human-like,” he added.
Scientists had previously described skulls found at the site, but in recent years found far more extensive remains of the skeletons of these creatures, giving them a more detailed understanding of these denizens of early human history.
Georgia clues to human origins
A team of scientists working in Georgia has unearthed the remains of four human-like creatures dating to 1.8 million years ago.
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44126000/jpg/_44126616_bones_nature_203.jpg The finds shed light on a key stage in human evolution
In the journal Nature, the researchers outline details of the partial skeletons uncovered in a Medieval town.
The bones reveal a mixture of primitive and advanced features, team leader David Lordkipanidze explained.
These early hominids may have been among the first to leave Africa to colonise the rest of the world.
Discovered in the early 1990s, the Dmanisi site has proved a rich source of remains and artefacts from the dawn of the Pleistocene Epoch.
Studying the various skulls and jaws has given scientists important information about the early species that lived here.
But, until now, they had little information about the rest of the skeleton.
The remains uncovered at the town of Dmanisi consist of the partial skeleton of an adolescent individual associated with a skull, and the “post-cranial” remains of three adults.
The specimens are among the oldest hominids to be found outside Africa.
In many respects, the well-preserved fossils resemble Homo erectus , a species from the genus Homo that first appeared in Africa some two million years ago and quickly spread throughout Europe and much of Asia.
They have remarkably human-like spines and lower limbs that would have been well suited for long distance travel. Their feet had well-developed arches.
An apparently small difference in the size of males and females also puts them in the same company as Homo erectus and Homo sapiens .
However, they also have relatively small brains and primitive upper limbs, traits which they share with the earlier Homo habilis , and even with the more primitive Australopithecus , which first appeared in Africa some four million years ago.
The most famous example of Australopithecus is the so called “Lucy” specimen found in north-eastern Ethiopia in 1974 which led scientists to rethink existing theories about early human evolution.