Research Interests

I am a paleoanthropologist, my research interests are in study of human evolution and its environmental and cultural context. Our finds from site of Dmanisi from Eastern Georgia changed prevailing views about when humans first left Africa and who they were. We found trove of hominid fossils dating to 1.8 million years ago that document the first movements of hominids out of Africa, and demonstrate that this dispersal was due neither to increased brain size nor improved technology. Anatomy of the Dmanisi hominids has a surprising mosaic of primitive and derived features. The brains of Dmanisi people are intermediate in size between those of H. habilis and H. erectus. Their skeletons show that they had legs and feet adapted for long-distance walking and running similar to those of modern humans, but hands and arms were still more primitive. The Dmanisi hominin remains are the first discovered outside of Africa to show clear affinities to early Homo, they represent the missing link between Africa, Asia and Europe. We continue to study variability within an early Homo population and to reconstruct Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene paleoecological conditions.

Membership Type

International Member

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Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology