Skip to main content

New paleomagnetic data from the hominin bearing Dmanisi paleo-anthropologic site (southern Georgia, Caucasus)

  • M. Calvo-Rathert (a1), A. Goguitchaichvili (a2), D. Sologashvili (a3), J.J. Villalaín (a1), M.F. Bógalo (a1), A. Carrancho (a1) and G. Maissuradze (a4)...

The Dmanisi site has yielded human remains and lithic industry associated with Late Pliocene–early Pleistocene fauna. The site is composed of volcanogenic sediments overlying basaltic lava flows. The lithostratigraphic sequence comprises two basic depositional units: Unit A, overlying the basalt flows, and Unit B on top. A paleomagnetic and rock-magnetic study has been carried out on 106 specimens from Units A and B and the uppermost basalt flow. The lava and Unit A provide normal polarities, while reversed polarities and anomalous directions are observed in Unit B, the latter probably due to overlapping of a secondary and a primary reversed polarity component. The lower part of the section shows a clear correlation with the Olduvai subchron, and the upper levels could be as young as 1.07 Ma. As human remains were found both in units with normal and reversed polarity, different non-contemporaneous human occupations might have been possible.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author.E-mail address: (M. Calvo-Rathert).
Hide All
Dzaparidze V., Bosinski G., Bugianishvili T., Gabunia L., Justus A., Klopotovskaya N., Kvavadze E., Lordkipanidze D., Majsuradze G., Mgeladze N., Nioradze M., Pavlenishvili E., Schmincke H.U., Sologashvili D., Tushabramishvili D., Vekua A., (1991). Der altpaläolithische Fundplatz Dmanisi in Georgien. Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz 36, 67116.
Gabunia L., Vekua A., Lordkipanidze D., Swisher C. III, Ferring R., Justus A., Nioradze M., Tvalchrelidze M., Anton S., Bosinski G., Jöris O., Lumley M.A., Maisuradze G., Mouskhelishvili Aleksander, (2000). Earliest Pleistocene hominid cranial remains from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia: Taxonomy, geological setting and age. Science 208, 10191025.
Gabunia L., Anton S., Lordkipanidze D., Vekua A., Justus A., Swisher C. III, (2001). Dmanisi and dispersal. Evolutionary Anthropology 10, 158170.
Garcia T., (2004). Cadres stratigraphique, magnetostratigraphique et geochronologique des hominides fósiles du site de Dmanissi en Georgie. PhD Thesis. Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. 233 pp.
Gradstein F., Ogg J., Smith A., (2004). A Geologic Time Scale. Cambridge University Press, (588 pgs).
Goguitchaichvili A., Parès J.M., (2000). A recognition paleomagnetic study of volcanic and sedimentary rocks from Dmanisi (Caucasus): Implications for the oldest human occupation in Europe. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences de la Terre et des Planètes, Paris 331, 183186.
Kirschvink J.L., (1980). The least squares line and plane and the analysis of paleomagnetic data. Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society 62, 699718.
Lumley H., Lordkipanidze D., Féraud G., Garcia T., Perrenoud C., Falguères C., Gagnepain J., Saos Th., Voinchet P., (2002). Datation par la méthode 40Ar/39Ar de la couche de cendres volcaniques (couche VI) de Dmanissi (Géorgie) qui a livré des restes d'hominidés fósiles de 1,81 Ma.. Comptes Rendus Palevol 1, 181189.
Maissuradze G., Pavlenshvili E., Schmincke H.U., Sologashvili D., (1991). Paläomagnetik und die Datierung der Basaltlava, In: Dzaparidze, et al., Der altpaläolithische Fundplatz Dmanisi in Georgien. Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums 36, 7476.
Mallol C., (2004). Micromorphological observations from the archaeological sediments of Ubeidiya (Israel), Dmanisi (Georgia) and Gran Dolina-TD10 (Spain) for the reconstruction of hominid occupation contexts. PhD Thesis, Harvard University, , Cambridge., Massachusetts, 259 pp.
McElhinny M.W., McFadden P.L., (1997). Paleosecular variation over the past 5 Ma based on a new generalized database. Geophysical Journal International 131, 240252.
Parés J.M., Pérez-González A., Rosas , Benito A., de Castro J.M. Bermúdez, Carbonell E., Huguet R., (2006). Matuyama-age lithic tools from the Sima del Elefante site, Atapuerca (northern Spain). Journal of Human Evolution 50, 163169.
Rightmire G.P., Lordkipanidze D., Vekua A., (2006). Anatomical descriptions, comparative studies and evolutionary significance of the hominin skulls from Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia. Journal of Human Evolution 50, 115141.
Schmincke H.U., van den Bogaard P., (1996). Die Datierung des Masavera Basaltstroms. Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums 42, 7576.
Sologashvili D., Pavlenshvili E., Gogichaishvili A., (1995). Zur Frage der Paläomagnetischen Stratigraphie einiger junger Vulkanite und Sedimentgesteine im Masavera-Becken. Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz 42, 5174.
Zhu R., An Z., Potts R., Hoffman K., (2003). Magnetostratigraphic dating of early humans in China. Earth-Science Reviews 61, 341359.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Quaternary Research
  • ISSN: 0033-5894
  • EISSN: 1096-0287
  • URL: /core/journals/quaternary-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 5 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 32 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.