Monday , March 1 2021

Neanderthals and Denisovans BOTH lived in the remote Siberian cave thousands of years ago



Neanderthals and Denisovans BOTH lived in the remote Siberian cave thousands of years ago and may even have used the shelter at the same time, says study

  • Two new studies are trying to lessen the history of human ancestors
  • Artifacts found in the cave of Denisova show Denisovans and Neanderthals living there
  • Study suggests that the place was the home of Denisovans from 287,000 years ago
  • Occupation may have coincided with the arrival of Neanderthals 193,000 years ago

Two separate species of human ancestors may have occupied a cave in Siberia at the same time for thousands of years.

Researchers have been working long ago to shorten the timeline of hominin occupation at Denisova Cave after a collection of artifacts, including stone tools and bone tips, was found on the site.

A couple of new studies analyzing the findings now suggest that the site was home to Denisovans 287,000 years ago, before possibly overcoming the arrival of Neanderthals 193,000 years ago.

Much about the Denisovans remains a mystery; although its existence in the place is known from fragments of bones and teeth, the size and complexity of the cave (photo) made the study difficult

Much about the Denisovans remains a mystery; although its existence in the place is known from fragments of bones and teeth, the size and complexity of the cave (photo) made the study difficult

The two new studies published in Nature this week may help refine our understanding of the extinct history of hominids.

Much about the Denisovans remains a mystery; Although its existence in the place is known by fragments of bones and teeth, the size and the complexity of the cave made difficult the study.

In one of the new efforts, a team led by researchers at the University of Wollongong used a technique known as optically stimulated luminescence to analyze sediments from the Denisova cave.

This allowed them to estimate when certain mineral grains were last exposed to sunlight in order to create a timeline for the fossils and artifacts that were found there.

According to the team, the occupation on the site spans from about 300,000 years ago to 20,000 years ago.

Researchers have been working long ago to shorten the timeline of hominin occupation at Denisova Cave after a collection of artifacts, including stone tools and bone points (photo), has been found locally.

Researchers have been working long ago to shorten the timeline of hominin occupation at Denisova Cave after a collection of artifacts, including stone tools and bone points (photo), has been found locally.

The two new studies published in Nature this week may help refine our understanding of the extinct history of hominids. A pendant found in the Denisova cave is shown above

The two new studies published in Nature this week may help refine our understanding of the extinct history of hominids. A pendant found in the Denisova cave is shown above

The researchers estimate that the Denisovans appeared about 287,000 years ago and remained there until 55,000 years ago.

Neanderthals, on the other hand, appear in the records about 193,000 years ago, up to 97,000 years ago.

In the second article, the researchers used radiocarbon dating to evaluate all known Denisovan fossils.

The team presented a total of 50 new radiocarbon dates and described three new fragments of Denisovan fossils.

Their analysis found that the Denisovans were in place 195,000 years ago, with the youngest dating from 76,000 to 52,000 years ago.

A couple of new studies analyzing the findings now suggest that the site was home to Denisovans 287,000 years ago, before possibly overcoming the arrival of Neanderthals 193,000 years ago.

A couple of new studies analyzing the findings now suggest that the site was home to Denisovans 287,000 years ago, before possibly overcoming the arrival of Neanderthals 193,000 years ago.

WHO ARE THE DENISOVANS?

Denisovans are an extinct species of humans that seem to have lived in Siberia and even in Southeast Asia.

Although the remains of these mysterious early humans were discovered only in one place – the Denisova Cave, in the Altai mountains of Siberia, DNA analysis showed that they were widespread.

The DNA of these early humans was found in the genomes of modern humans in a large area of ​​Asia, suggesting that they covered a wide range.

DNA analysis of a pinky finger fragment in 2010, (photo) belonging to a young woman, revealed that the Denisovans were a related but different species of the Neanderthals.

DNA analysis of a pinky finger fragment in 2010, (photo) belonging to a young woman, revealed that the Denisovans were a related but different species of the Neanderthals.

It is believed that they were a sister species of the Neanderthals, who lived in western Asia and Europe around the same time.

The two species appear to have separated from a common ancestor about 200,000 years ago, while separating from the modern human Homo sapien line some 600,000 years ago.

Bone and ivory beads found in the cave of Denisova were discovered in the same layers of sediment as the fossils of Denisovan, leading to suggestions of sophisticated tools and jewelry.

DNA analysis of a finger fragment of the fifth digit finger in 2010, which belonged to a young woman, revealed that they were a related but different species of Neanderthals.

Later genetic studies suggested that the ancient human species separated from the Neanderthals between 470,000 and 190,000 years ago.

Since then, anthropologists have wondered whether the cave had been a temporary shelter for a group of these Denisovans or had formed a more permanent settlement.

DNA from molar teeth belonging to two other individuals, an adult male and a young female, showed that they had died in the cave at least 65,000 years earlier.

Other tests have suggested that the young female's tooth may be 170,000 years old.

It is believed that a third molar belonged to an adult man who died about 7,500 years before the girl whose little pinky was discovered.

The bone points and tooth pendants found in the cave may also be Denisovan's oldest artifacts found in northern Europe, the researchers say.

These were dated from about 49,000 to 43,000 years ago.

Together, the two new studies contribute to a more complete timeline of occupation.

"While there may still be some uncertainty about the detailed ages of the remains – given the nature and complexity of the deposits and the dating methods used – the overall picture is now clear," archaeologist Robin Dennell wrote in a News & Views.

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