I am visiting Tbilisi this week to examine the Dmanisi skeletal collection and to shoot some footage for my upcoming massive open online course (MOOC), "Human Evolution: Past and Future". This is really a dream visit for me, as I get to see one of the most amazing collections of fossils ever discovered, see the site where new discoveries are still being made, and I'll be sharing those experiences with a huge number of people interested in human origins around the world.
This week I am acclimating myself to a place where it's not only a new language, but they also don't use any of the alphabets I already know. Finding places has sure been a challenge!
Here's a view of the old city from across the river:
The city is overlooked up on a mountainside by a late medieval fortress, with cable cars going up:
Pretty different from my cable car experience in South Africa last week! Here's a view of the Parliament building, on the main square:
One of the incredible things about paleoanthropology is that there are no limits on where in the world we may find great discoveries and great science being done. Tbilisi has some incredible archaeology going back centuries, right here beneath the foundations of the city:
HIstory and prehistory are all around. This weekend we'll be going out into the country to see the oldest place humans have ever been found outside Africa.