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) is a townlet and archaeological site in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia approximately 93 km southwest of the nation’s capital Tbilisi in the river valley of Mashavera.The hominin site is the earliest of its kind outside of Africa, dating back to 1.81 Ma.

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Located on the confluence of trading routes and cultural influences, Dmanisi was of particular importance, growing into a major commercial center of medieval Georgia.The town was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the 1080s, but was later liberated by the Georgian kings David the Builder and Demetrios I between 11.The Turco-Mongol armies under Timur laid waste to the town in the 14th century.Sacked again by the Turkomans in 1486, Dmanisi never recovered and declined to a scarcely inhabited village by the 18th century.At 1.8 million years old, they are now believed to be a subspecies of Homo erectus and not a separate species of Homo.

These fossils represent the earliest known human presence in the Caucasus.Subsequently, four fossil skeletons were found, showing a species primitive in its skull and upper body but with relatively advanced spines and lower limbs.They are now thought to represent a stage soon after the transition from Australopithecus to Homo erectus.The castle was controlled by the House of Orbeliani.Extensive archaeological studies began in the area in 1936 and continued in the 1960s.Beyond a rich collection of ancient and medieval artifacts and the ruins of various buildings and structures, unique remains of prehistoric animals and humans have been unearthed.