Probable volcanic impact on the death of the Dmanisi Hominids

Marie-Antoinette de LUMLEY, Jacques-Marie BARDINTZEFF, Philippe BIENVENU, Jean-Baptiste BILCOT, Guy FLAMENBAUM, Christophe GUY, Michel JULLIEN, Henry de LUMLEY, Jean-Philippe NABOT, Christian PERRENOUD, Olivier PROVITINA & Martine TOURASSE

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 7 (1) - Pages 61-79

Published on 29 February 2008

The human remains unearthed at the Lower Pleistocene site of Dmanisi (Georgia), are numerous, well preserved and show no evidence of transportation or predation. They were discovered over a small surface and correspond to at least five Homo georgicus individuals, whose age at death is regularly distributed from the teenager to the elder over 40 years old. These characteristics evoke a family group who died suddenly. Granulometry and chemical analyses of ca. 30 volcanic tephra samples prove its unicity and its primary position. Since this tephra cannot correspond to a nuée ardente , it is probable that the Dmanisi Hominids were surprised and asphyxiated, 1 810 000 years ago, by volcanic ashfalls.


Dmanisi, Georgia, Homo georgicus, volcanic eruption, Tephras, death aetiology, victims of volcanism

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