Evidence of early Pleistocene hominid dispersal outside of Africa is scant and controversial.1-4 Most of the early evidence appeared to support a relatively late initial migration (after 1.0 Ma), suggesting that, for hominids, Acheulean technological innovation was one of the prerequisites of dispersal.5,6 The past decade, however, has seen increasing evidence that suggests a substantially earlier dispersal, starting around 1.8 Ma. If that evidence is correct, such an early dispersal may be better envisioned as driven more strongly by biological and ecological factors than by technological breakthroughs.7-10 The context and morphology of the first hominids to disperse from Africa is critical information for testing these two scenarios. Here we discuss recent discoveries from the early Pleistocene site of Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, and their implications for models of early hominid dispersal.
- Homo erectus
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