Thanks to the multidisciplinary team of researchers from several countries, we specify the dates on which Neanderthals and Denisovans are believed to beThey inhabited the Denisova cave in Siberia. Two articles published in the journal Nature They report on the results of this team, made up of experts from the United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Australia and Germany.
Located in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia, Russia, the Denisova Cave is the only place in the world that is known to have been occupied by Neanderthals and Denisovans, the extinct relatives closest to humans.
First, a team led by Katerina Douka of the Max Planck Institute For the Human History Sciences of Germany, he analyzed three new fragments of Denisovan fossils through radiocarbon.
The group of scientists concluded that the presence of Denisovans in the cave dates back at least 195,000 years ago and that the newest fossil of this type of hominid date from a period between 76,000 and 52,000 years ago.
Most of the evidence from the presence of Neanderthals in the cave belongs to the last interglacial period, about 120,000 years ago when the weather was relatively warm. While the Denisovans survived very cold periods, before disappearing about 50,000 years ago.
About 100,000 years ago, the two groups of hominids coexisted in the cave and mixed, as recently revealed the study of the bone fragment called "Denisova 11", which belonged to a female individual of Neanderthal mother and father Denisovan.
The study conducted by Douka, in which British University of Oxford, also identified by radiocarbon dating tips and pendants made from the teeth of animals aged 49,000 to 43,000 years. This estimate makes the oldest artifacts discovered in northern Eurasia and is believed to be the work of the Denisovans.
On the other hand, Zenobia Jacobs and Richard Roberts, from the University of Wollongong, Australia, they studied the sediments of the cave with a luminescence system that estimates the time that has passed since certain minerals, like quartz, were exposed to sunlight for the last time.
With this method, they created a timeline for the deposition of fossils and artifacts in the cave that spans from 300,000 to 20,000 years ago. From these data, they estimate that the Denisovans occupied the cave between approximately 287,000 and 55,000 years ago, while Neanderthals inhabited it between 193,000 and 97,000 years ago.