What is the real discovery for man

The 10 most important finds of the human evolution

Studying the history of human ancestry is like a puzzle, and like a puzzle, no particle is so unimportant that it can be dispensed with. But some discoveries stand out anyway: They provide a decisive indication of the overall picture or show that well-tried beliefs are based on an error. Here we have put together our personal selection of the ten most important discoveries of human evolution for you.

Ardi and the doubts about the savannah hypothesis

Find: From 1992, more and more skeletal parts of extremely old hominids appeared in the Ethiopian region of Afar. First a molar, then a skull, and finally the finds turned out to be relics of a completely new species: Ardipithecus ramidus lived around four and a half million years ago and is at the root of the family tree of humans and Australopithecus. How exactly it fits into this extensive relationship is not certain, however, it does not necessarily have to be a direct ancestor of humans.

Importance: On the extraordinary, almost completely preserved skeleton of A. ramidus, Nickname "Ardi", it can be seen that these hominids were already walking upright on two feet. The remarkable thing is that "Ardi" lived in a very wooded area. This suggests that the upright gait did not develop in the vast expanses of the hot African savannah, as had long been assumed. The Ardis find has made a significant contribution to casting doubt on the "savannah hypothesis". However, there is not yet a generally accepted successor to this declaration.

The Dmanisi finds or: one for all, all for one?

Find: The five individuals that have been excavated in the Georgian town of Dmanisi in the years since 1991 represent a unique snapshot from the distant past. Because unlike usual, where there are huge gaps in time between individual finds, these five came into the earth practically at the same time - about 1.8 million years ago. The jewel in the collection is the superbly preserved skull of a male individual, described in 2013.

Importance: The five individuals are the oldest traces of early humans in Europe and thus prove that homo started to colonize the world very early on. Members of the same species spread from Africa to East Asia. The real meaning of the Dmanisi finds, however, lies in what they tell about the beginnings of our genus: Although they all belong to one species, they are so different in their manifestations that they might have been assigned to different species if they were not on found in a stain. The recently discovered skull 5, for example, is very reminiscent of an early one thanks to its archaic features Homo habilis. Does it make sense at all, from different ones homo-Ways to talk? Instead of manifold branches, there is practically only one thick branch in our family tree, argued the discoverers around David Lordkipanidze. They promptly received violent opposition, but the astonishing wealth of variants of the Dmanisi group also gave food for thought to those who hold on to the conventional species separation.

The Flores man - tiny man creates huge problems

Find: In 2003, excavators made a discovery on the Indonesian island of Flores that experts still can't figure out - at least not all of the same. They unearthed the remains of an adult around three feet tall, who is most likely to come from a miniature version of the Homo erectus remembered, but at an age of about 18,000 years it was dramatically younger than all other finds of this kind. In the meantime, other skeletal remains of other individuals and stone tools have been added, but much to clear the guesswork out of choosing as Homo floresiensis or people called "Hobbit" could not contribute.