As part of the Italian archaeological missions in Georgia (co-financed by MAECI- the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), research is continuing at the prehistoric site of Dmanisi, conducted by an international and multidisciplinary team coordinated by the National Museum of Georgia in Tblisi with the participation of the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Florence.
The excavations at Dmanisi – where the remains date back to approximately 1.8 million years ago – have yielded the earliest evidence of hominid presence outside the African continent. In the context of these sensational discoveries, the Italian research group is engaged on in-depth study of the rich fossil fauna that is associated with the human remains in order to reconstruct, in as much detail as possible, the environment and ecosystem of which our ancient ancestors were a part, and to outline their eating habits and group dynamics.
In addition to contributing to the achievement of significant scientific results that have attracted worldwide recognition (in recent months the publication of the study of the Dmanisi Licaone fossil has had a considerable response in the international media), the Italian component of the project is also training young researchers – an aspect of the project that was demonstrated by the success of the 2021 edition of the “Dmanisi Paleoanthropology Field School”, where the speakers included several members of the University of Florence team.
The searches are carried out both in the field and by studying the museum collections of excavations that were made in recent years, using the most modern technologies. In particular, during this year’s mission, structured light 3D scanners with different resolutions are being used, which enable three-dimensional acquisition of all the data relating to the finds.