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Skull defies believed history of man

The conventional view of human evolution and how early man colonised the world has been thrown into doubt by a series of stunning palaeontological discoveries suggesting that Africa was not the sole cradle of humankind.

india Updated: Sep 09, 2009 16:20 IST

The conventional view of human evolution and how early man colonised the world has been thrown into doubt by a series of stunning palaeontological discoveries suggesting that Africa was not the sole cradle of humankind. Skull

Scientists have found a handful of ancient human skulls at an archaeological site two hours from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, that suggest a Eurasian chapter in the long evolutionary story of man, The Independent reports.

The skulls, jawbones and fragments of limb bones suggest that our ancient human ancestors migrated out of Africa far earlier than previously thought and spent a long evolutionary interlude in Eurasia - before moving back into Africa to complete the story of man.

Experts believe fossilised bones unearthed at the medieval village of Dmanisi in the foothills of the Caucuses, and dated to about 1.8 million years ago, are the oldest indisputable remains of humans discovered outside of Africa.

But what has really excited the researchers is the discovery that these early humans are far more primitive looking than the Homo erectus humans that were, until now, believed to be the first people to migrate out of Africa about 1 million years ago.