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Denisova cave reveals sex between modern humans and Neanderthals 100,000 years ago

By The Siberian Times
18 February 2016

Latest sensational breakthrough from ancient remains found in Altai Mountain cave are revealed in Nature scientific journal.

The 'smoking gun' proof is a Neanderthal toe bone from the Denisova cave which in its genome has traces of human DNA. Picture: Max Planck Institute

Modern humans ventured out of Africa tens of thousands of years earlier than previously thought, and crossbred with Neanderthals in Eurasia, new research ahs established. 

The 'smoking gun' proof is a Neanderthal toe bone from the Denisova cave which in its genome has traces of human DNA. This provides evidence of inter-species sex between Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.

It also means that early man surged out of Africa some 35,000 years earlier than was assumed by experts. The cave has been at the heart of a number of key scientific discoveries, as our exclusive glimpse inside this remarkable archeological site shows

Denisova cave


Denisova cave


Denisova cave


Denisova cave


Denisova cave

The cave has been at the heart of a number of key scientific discoveries. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

'It is the first genetic evidence of modern humans outside Africa,' Sergi Castellano, a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and co-leader of the study told AFP.

The early migration is seen as having come from East Africa to the Arabian peninsula and then north to Central Asia and Siberia. The first truly modern humans emerged in Africa about 200,000 years ago, it is believed. 

Examination of other European Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA did not show the link to modern human DNA, according to reports. 

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