The mysterious ancient hominids known as Denisov and their evolutionary cousins, Neandertals, visited southern Siberian beer, which began surprisingly long ago.
Evidence of these populations visiting the Denisov Cave, which began some 200,000 years ago, Neandertals and possibly 300,000 years ago, Denisovans, appears on January 31st. Nature.
It was known that members of two extinct hominid species in the Stone Age occupied Siberian caves at some points. But the new evidence provides the best look until Denisovan and Neanderthal reached the site and how these hominid species could interact, including cross-sorting.
In one new study, a group led by geo-archaeologist Zenobia Jacobs found that Denisov was occupying Siberian beer, as it was around 55,000 years ago, and in a second archaeologist-led by Katerina Douk, Denisovan's last stand puts the site around the same ballpark. For Neandertals, they last lived in the Denisova cave about 97,000 years ago, estimated by Jacobs.
"Now it seems that Denisovans can be placed in the place of nearly 300,000 years to about 50,000 years, there Neanderthal is there between time," says Paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the London Natural History Museum, who did not participate in the research. However, it is not yet clear whether clay-derived homine fossil beverages come from people who have died during periodic activities or whose remnants were transported to the site, say predators, he says.
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The suggestions of other researchers that Denisovan survived in Southern Siberia for up to 30,000 years could not be tested in the new studies.
Jacob of Wollongong University in Australia and her colleagues created dates for 103 samples of Denisova cave sediments that have given stone tools and hominid fossils. Age estimates were based on calculations when the sediment was last exposed to sunlight. The oldest Denisovana fossil, molar tooth, came from sediments dated around 300,000 years ago. But this fossil material could initially be deposited above the sediment, where it was finally found, making the tooth significantly less than 300,000 years old.
Douka, from the Max Planck Institute for Human History in Yen, Germany, and her colleagues estimated the age of four Denisovans, three neanderthals, and three other hominids whose fragmentary remains were found in Denisov Cave. The team introduced new and previously acquired fossil and sediment age estimates, fossil initial locations, excavation and comparison of mitochondrial DNA derived from fossils.
Until now, the age of the Neanderthal fossils in north-east Asia has been negligible and indicates a relatively late Stone Age presence. “We don't expect [Denisova Cave] Neanderthal has been around 120,000 years ago, and the sediment containing Neandertal DNA is back 200,000 years, ”says Douka. This genetic evidence relieves estimates of when Neanderthal first arrived in the Siberian cave, based solely on fossils. Relatively warm temperatures were obviously encouraged by Neanderthal to go north to Denisova Cave, as researchers say.
Scientists knew that the arrival of the Neanderthals in the cave led to a split with Denisovans. In August 2018, the researchers reported that the girl represented by the DNA removed from the bone excavated in the Siberian Cave was the father of Denisovan and the mother of Neandertal, the only first generation hybrid ever found.SN: 9/15/18, p. 9).
Douka's team estimates that the hybrid girl lived 79 to 300 years ago, earlier than the previous rating and co-ordinated with the cave of other Neanderthal fossils. Dating estimates are not precise enough to determine if Denisovans and Neanderthals were at the same time in a cave. But the girl's family must be living in the cave, if not there, but Denisovans was there, Douka's suspects.
Her team also estimates that the animal tooth pendants and bone points previously discovered in the Denisova Cave are between 43,000 and 49,000 years old. Although such artefacts have traditionally been associated with the Stone Age Homo sapiensRussian archaeologists in the Doukas team consider Denisovans as potential creators of these findings. The Denisov cave investigation, which began 40 years ago, has given no H. sapiens fossils or DNA.
H. sapiens lived elsewhere in Siberia about 45,000 years ago (SN: 11/29/14, p. 8). As Denisovans not earlier than 52,000 years old in new research, "my money would be for early modern people", as Denisov's cave pendants and scorers, Stringer says.
But it would not be surprising if Denisovans and. T. H. sapiens wrote these artefacts, writes archaeologist Robin Dennel from Sheffield University in England in a comment published on the same subject Nature. Interconnection between H. sapiens, Neandertals and Denisovans were probably more likely than scientists. In addition to previous evidence of neanderthal and denisovane interconnection in the cave, Neandertals et al H. sapiens they are known to be interconnected elsewhere in Eurasia.