Home Science & Technology An ancient tooth found in Georgia is evidence of the first human...

An ancient tooth found in Georgia is evidence of the first human species to arrive in Europe


A fossilized human tooth helps us better understand how and when early humans left Africa.

A 1.8-million-year-old tooth was found at a site in Georgia in the South Caucasus. Its discovery emphasizes that at a certain time this place was one of the earliest prehistoric settlements of Archaic people (one of our prehistoric ancestors, A man standing) originated in Europe and possibly anywhere outside of Africa.

Image credits by Giorgi Kapoliani.

Stone tools and animal remains were previously found at this site, known as Arazmani archaeological sitebut this is the first time A man standing remains were found here. Previously, human skulls dating from around the same period of history were found in the nearby town of Dmanisi during excavations in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The findings demonstrate the fact that the mountains of the South Caucasus were one of the first places where the first people settled after migrating from Africa.

Ancient pioneers

“Arazmani, together with Dmanisi, represents the center of the oldest dispersal of Old Humans—or early Homo—in the world outside of Africa,” explained a press release from the National Research Center for Archeology and Primitivism in Georgia, which announced the discovery. but also for Georgia and the story of people leaving Africa 1.8 million years ago is huge,” said British archeology student Jack Peart, who first found the tooth at Arazmani. “It solidifies Georgia as a really important place for paleoanthropology and human history in general.”

The tooth was discovered by a student researcher who was part of a team excavating the site. The team’s senior paleontologist confirmed that it was a hominin tooth, giving it an age of 1.77 to 1.84 million years.

Heorhiy Bidinashvili, the scientific director of the excavations, said Reuters that the tooth probably belonged to a “cousin” of Zezva and Mzia. These are the names given to two nearly complete fossilized skulls dating to about 1.8 million years ago previously discovered at Dmanisi.

To date, the oldest known Archaic human fossil dates to about 2.8 million years ago and consists of a partial jaw discovered in Ethiopia. Modern anatomical man, Homo sapiensspecies as we read this are believed to have appeared around 300,000 years ago somewhere in Africa. From here they spread to the village the rest of the world.

Something similar may have happened to earlier species of humans, especially a hominin hunter-gatherer called A man standing — one of, if not the first, type of hominid that began to walk vertically. Groups A man standing probably started migrating out of Africa somewhere around 2 million years ago. Ancient tools that have been found in China are the oldest evidence of the presence A man standing outside of Africa (they were dated to about 2.1 million years ago), but the new tooth and skulls previously found in Georgia are the oldest early human remains ever found outside of Africa.

The team began excavations at Arazmani in 2019, but had to suspend their expedition in 2020 due to the pandemic. They renewed their efforts last year. Along with the tooth, they also discovered ancient tools and fossils of extinct animals such as saber-toothed cats and Etruscan wolves. Recently, excavations in Georgia also revealed the remains of one of the oldest examples hunting dogs ever foundalso dated to about 1.8 million years ago, at a site in Dmanisi.

Despite its modest size, this tooth can help us solve some important questions. These findings give us more data to refine what we know about human evolutionary history – history it is about 7 million years.

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