Neanderthals and Denisovci – both of their relatives of modern humans – were cimers, literally, for thousands of years in the remote Siberian cave, two new studies.
Even in ancient times, this cave was a real estate agent; it is the only place in the world where Neanderthals, Denisovci and perhaps even modern people lived together in history, discovered the researchers.
The cave was so popular that hominines (a group involving people, our ancestors, and our close evolutionary relatives like chimpanzees) lived there almost continuously during the warm and cold periods over the past 300,000 years, researchers have discovered. [In Photos: Bones from a Denisovan-Neanderthal Hybrid]
Analyzing fossils and DNA, the researchers found that the mysterious Denisovci lived in the cave from at least 200,000 to 50,000 years ago, and the Neanderthals lived there between 190,000 and 100,000 years ago.
It is not entirely unplanned that the Neanderthals and Denisians were mixed. In 2018, researchers published a study on a teenage bones fragment that had a Neanderthal mother and father Denisovana, the first direct evidence that two groups of hominine had crossed.
New research shows that this girl, whose remains were found in Denis Cave, lived about 100,000 years ago, scientists say.
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For 40 years, researchers have excavated the Denis cave at the foothills of the Altai Mountains in Siberia.
In 2010, the cave gained world recognition when scientists announced that they found the fingers of a finger of a previously unknown hominine and published their genome. They called hominine Denisovci (deh-NEESE-so-vans) after the cave.
However, so far, researchers have only had a few artifacts so far, so they were not sure when the cave dwellers lived there. Now, two new studies reveal the chronology of cave dwellers.
In one study, researchers in Australia and Russia used optical dating to determine the age of sedimentary caves. They could not use radiocarbon dating because it can reliably provide organic objects just 50,000 years ago. By contrast, optical dating allows scientists to detect when quartz and feldspar grains in the soil are last exposed to sun.
In the second study, researchers in Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Russia and Canada watched the foreseeable breakdown of radioactive carbon isotope (radiocarbon dating) to determine the age of the bones, tooths and fragments of coal in the upper layers. place; then they created a statistical model that integrated all discovered cave dates.
"We had to invent some new methods for dating the deepest and oldest deposits and construct a strong chronology for the sediments in Denis Cave," co-researcher Bo Li, associate professor at Earth School, Atmosphere and Life Science at Wollongong University in Australia, states in a statement.
Moreover, the new statistical model has helped "include all datum data for these small and isolated fossils that could easily be deposited after deposition," research researcher Katerina Douka, an archeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Human History Science in Germany, states is in the press release. [Denisovan Gallery: Tracing the Genetics of Human Ancestors]
Still, the question of dating material in the cave remains. For example, "Does human fossils come from human occupations or, say, the beast's actions, and are they moved far from their original position?" asked researcher Chris Stringer, Human Resource Research Manager at the London Natural History Museum.
There is still a cave puzzle: Did modern people live there? Our species (Homo sapiens) was present in other parts of Asia 50,000 years ago, but it was not clear whether it was H. sapiens interaction with Denisovci in the cave. This is because scientists have not yet found fossil or genetic traces of modern humans in the cave, although researchers found hominic bone dating from 50,000 to 46,000 years. The team could not get any DNA from it, so it was not clear what kind of bones belonged to.
Besides, it is possible that modern humans have made some artifacts in the cave.
Another open question is whether Denisovani or modern people made the oldest bone stitch and personal decorations [tooth pendants] found in the cave, "Tom Higham, a professor of archeology at Oxford University who worked on the radiocarbon study, according to a statement." With direct dates between 43,000 and 49,000 years, they are the earliest known artefacts known throughout Northern Eurasia. "
But Stringer said he would put money on early modern people.
"Early modern humans can be mapped elsewhere at this time, for example at Ust-Shiva in Siberia," Stringer told Live Science in an email. "But the authors. T [radiocarbon dating] rather surprisingly they argue that it is very doubtful to assume that Denisovani were responsible, although no Denisovani were yet to be known until later in this series.
"Only more discoveries and more research can solve this issue in a satisfactory way," added Stringer.
Two studies were published yesterday (January 30th) in Nature.
Originally posted on the day Live Science.