Old timer

This elderly male belonged to a population of Homo erectus that spread from Africa to the Caucasus Mountains in western Asia. Most of his teeth fell out long before he died, and his jaw deteriorated as a result. Members of his social group must have taken care of him. This is some of the earliest known evidence for this kind of group care and compassion in the human fossil record.

Image of skull; D3444 Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, 3/4 view
Image of skull; D3444 Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, front view
Image of skull; D3444 Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia, side view
D3444
Exhibit item
Site: 
Dmanisi, Republic of Georgia
Discovered by: 
A team led by David Lordkipanidze
Age: 
About 1.77 million years old
Species: 
Homo erectus
Text: 
<bold>Old timer</bold> This elderly male belonged to a population of <italic>Homo erectus</italic> that spread from Africa to the Caucasus Mountains in western Asia. Most of his teeth fell out long before he died, and his jaw deteriorated as a result. Members of his social group must have taken care of him.