An expert is casting doubt on a claim by a Georgian woman to be the world's oldest person.
Officials and reporters from across the former Soviet republic flocked Thursday to the mountain village of Sachire to see. Georgian officials say two Soviet-era documents attest to her age. Her birth certificate, like many others, has been lost in the area's succession of revolutions and wars.
Stephen Coles - a University of California lecturer and member of the Gerontology Research Group that assists the Guinness Book of World Records - told the AP Khvichava's claim can be proved only with documents dating to the time of birth.
"Otherwise, this claim will remain a curiosity in a newspaper or floating on the Internet," he said.
The Gerontology Research Group currently recognizes 114-year-old Eugenie Blanchard of Saint Barthelemy, France, as the world's oldest person. The organization is yet to examine Khvichava's claim.
Khvichava has a son, 10 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and six great, great grandchidren.
Khvichava's 70-year-old son Mikhail apparently was born when his mother was 60. She said she also had two children from a previous marriage, but says they died of hunger during World War II.