The 2002 discovery of a1. 77 million year old bones of an old man in Dmanisi, Georgia unveiled fertile grounds for a plethora of information about the Homo erectus. Dmanisi, a village characterized by its medieval ruins, is not far from Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital. Dmanisi has been the focus of archaeologists’ explorations since the early 1990s. Findings up to 2002 were typically comprised of early human fossils. The latest evacuations of 5 Homo erectus vertebrae in 2005 was even more infinitive providing anthropologists with a unique opportunity to make instructive comparisons to modern human beings.
Anthropologist Marc Meyer from the University of Philadelphia together with David Lordkipandize and Abesalom Vekua from the Georgian State Museum in Tbilisi said that the vertebrae were compared to those of modern man, chimpanzees and gorillas. It is possible that the ancient Homo erectus spoke to one another. The Homo erectus’ remains unearthed at Dmanisi in 2005 and compared to modern man, chimpanzees and gorillas reveal that the ancient remains were capable of supporting respiratory organs that are necessary for oral speech.
Although Meyer notes that it is not possible to prove that prehistoric man spoke, the Homo erectus remains evacuated at Dmanisi did not exhibit respiratory constraints relative to speech. The vertebrae of the Homo erectus, although significantly smaller than that of modern man is vastly similar. The similarities in vertebrae structures are indicative of similar human physical traits in terms of posture, mobility and quite possibly communication. This might explain why there is a large debate over the characterization of a 1. 6 million year old skeleton unearthed in Kenya in 1984.
The skeletal remains were small and similar to that of a chimpanzee leaving some scientists to conclude that it was the remains of Homo ergaster rather than a Homo erectus. The fact is, scientists are more inclined to conclude that the Homo erectus was possessed of a speech-friendly physique. Previously, all other Homo genus forms were devoid of the vertebrae supportive of speech and had limited speech range.
References Beers, K. ; Odell, L. ; Arpin, G. ; Brinnin, J. and Hermacki, T. (2003) Holt Literature and Language Arts. Holt, Rinehart and Winston Bower, B. and Lobdell, J. (2004) History Alive! Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. National Geographic (April 2005) “Human Erectus Discovery”. http://ngm. nationalgeographic. com/ngm/0504/feature2/gallery4. html (Retrieved July 7, 2010). The Dmanisi Site (n. d. ). http://www. donsmaps. com/dmanisi. html (Retrieved July 7, 2010).
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