First Out of Africa
David Lordkipanidze, General Director at the Georgian National Museum
Saturday, April 9, 2011 @ 1:00 pm
The Field Museum | Chicago, IL
Free with museum admission.
Some of the most controversial issues remaining in paleoanthropology are when and why our ancestors left their motherland and began global colonization. The site of Dmanisi, Georgia has produced surprising evidence for the early dispersal of hominids out of Africa. Dmanisi dates to approximately 1.77 million years ago and has revealed a wealth of cranial and post-cranial hominid fossil material along with many well-preserved animal bones and quantities of stone artifacts. The Dmanisi hominids have a surprising mosaic of primitive morphology such as small body and brain sizes and an absence of humeral torsion coupled with derived human-like body proportions and lower limb morphology. These fossils bring into question whether Homo erectus was the first hominid out of Africa. The Dmanisi hominid 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.
David Lordkipanidze, Ph.D. is the first General Director of the newly founded National Museum of Georgia which unifies 10 major museums of the country and 2 research institutes. Under his leadership the Museum is gradually transforming from a Soviet-type institution into a vibrant space for culture, education and science. Lordkipanidze’s professional activities are connected with Dmanisi, the world famous archaeological site. Lordkipanidze has authored over 100 scientific articles published in widely respected and well-known scientific journals such as Nature, Science Magazine, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of USA, Journal of Human Evolution and more. He is regularly featured in the popular scientific magazines such as National Geographic magazine, GEO magazine, Scientific American. In 2004 Lordkipanidze received the Rolex Award for Enterprise. He was also given the National Decoration of Georgia (2001), Award of the Prince of Monaco (2001), the French decorations Palmes Académiques (2002) and L`Ordre du Mérite (2006), a Fulbright Scholarship (2002), and the Georgian National Prize for Science and Technology (2004). Since 2007 David Lordkipanidze is a foreign associate member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), corresponding member of German archaeological institute(2008), corresponding member of Georgian National Academy of Sciences (2009), Member of European academy of Science and Arts (2009).