Discovered in 2001 at Dmanisi in Georgia, the skull's estimated
age is 1.8 million years. Specimen D2700 consisted of a mostly
complete skull in exceptionally good condition, including a lower
jaw (D2735) found about a metre away and thought to belong to the
At around 600cc (cubic capacity), this was the smallest and most
primitive hominid skull ever discovered outside of Africa until Homo
floresiensis' recent discovery.
Two other skulls had earlier been found at the same site in
1999. D2280 was an almost complete braincase with a brain size of
780cc. D2282 was a cranium which included many of the facial and
upper jaw bones, with a brain size of about 650cc. A lower jaw,
D211, had also been discovered in 1991, and another lower jaw,
D2600, in 2000.
Although the brain size of D2282 (650cc) was smaller than any
erectus fossil then known, and close to the average Homo habilis
brain size, Gabunia et al. (2000) pointed out the many similarities
of D2280 and D2282 to Homo erectus fossils such as WT 15000 and ER 3733.
Their final conclusion was that D2280 and D2282 were both Homo
ergaster or something very similar.
At 600cc, new discovery D2700 is even smaller than D2282, and
appears more primitive. Vekua et al. (2002) list many
characteristics in which it resembles ergaster (or erectus), and
also a number in which it resembles the habilis skull ER 1813.
However, the differences between the three Dmanisi skulls were
not considered great enough to justify placing them in different
species. However, in a later paper, all these specimens were
assigned to the new species Homo georgicus, using the fossil D2600
as a type specimen (Gabunia et al. 2002). The same paper also
estimated the height of georgicus from a foot bone at about 1.5 m
In April 2005 a newly published paper gave details of a fourth
skull (D3444) and jawbone (D3900) belonging to the same individual
discovered at Dmanisi. This skull was unusual in that it had lost
all but one tooth, and most of them had been missing for a number of
years. This suggests that the individual might have required
considerable support from his companions to survive. (Lordkipanidze
et al. 2005; April 2005 National Geographic).