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'In the West sometimes they think that Siberia is snow and nothing else. But there is such life and energy here!'
dancer Sergei Polunin

Siberian girl comes back to life after more than 50,000 years....

By The Siberian Times reporter
31 August 2012

Well, not quite, but we now know she had brown eyes, and dark hair and skin. And that she is related to people now alive in Australia, the Phillippines and New Guinea.

Entrance into Denisova cave in Altai Mountains, SIberia 

Hailed as a 'stunning technical feat' by ScienceNOW, researchers have sequenced the genome of a girl who lived in Siberia's Denisova Cave more than 50,000 years ago.

This has been done from her tiny finger bone, and means scientists now have as close a picture of her genetic make-up as they would of a modern person.

The girl's remains were found in a cave in the Altai Mountains and earlier findings have already had a dramatic impact on our knowledge about our forebears.

Denisova Cave Altai Mountains

The dig at Denisova cave in Altai Mountains, SIberia 

She was neither a Neandertal nor a modern human but a member of a new lineage now called Denisovan after the cave where she was found in 2008.

'No one thought we would have an archaic human genome of such quality,' said Matthias Meyer, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, where the research was conducted in conjunction with Harvard Medical School in the US.

'Everyone was shocked by the counts. That includes me.'

The international team used a new method to sequence the genome of the ancient Siberian girl 31 times over, by amplifying single strands of DNA. 

'This is the genetic recipe for being a modern human,' says team leader Svante Paabo, a paleogeneticist at the institute.

There is now 'no difference in what we can learn genetically about a person that lived 50,000 years ago and from a person today, provided that we have well-enough preserved bones'.

The experts showed that Denisovans contributed genetic material only to present Australian Aborigines and some people in Melanesia.

Denisova Cave, Altai Mountains


Denisova Cave, Altai Mountains

Denisova cave in Altai Mountains, SIberia, views from inside and from the road

Harder is to discover how old the girl is. They put her at up to 80,000 years - but the finger sample is not big enough for carbon dating, which would establish this more accurately. She might be a few thousand years younger. 

The scientists believe a single population moved out of Africa to give rise to both the Denisovans and Neanderthals.

The new findings support the theory that modern man's ancestors mixed with groups of ancient humans, rather than quickly replacing them.

The long extinct Denisovans are believed to have occupied much of Asia tens of thousands of years ago. Amazingly, the girl's finger and two teeth also found in the cave are all that remains of them.

Denisova Cave, Altai Mountains

The 'living room' at Denisova cave in Altai Mountains, SIberia, with a window giving light and ensuring good draught for the fire

The team cross-checked the Denisovan genome with similar sequences from Neanderthals and 11 modern humans from around the world.

This established that there had been interbreeding, with Denisovan DNA living on in some populations alive today.

'It's clear that Denisovan material has contributed 3-to-5% of the genomes of people in Australia and New Guinea and aboriginal people from the Philippines, and some of the islands nearby', explained Harvard geneticist David Reich.

The Denisova Cave - or as locals call it Ayu-Tash, which means Bear's Rock - is both a natural and archaeological memorial in the valley of the Anui River, some 150km from Barnaul.

The cave, with its close proximity to water, has dry chambers - one with a metre wide circular 'window' - which brings both light, and in winters affords very good draughts for fires. It has  served as a reliable and quite comfortable shelter for people and animals for thousands of years, with evidence of hominid occupation beginning 175,000 years ago. 

Anyone can enter the cave, and no mountain climbing skills are required. A wide entrance into the cave is on the side of the mountain and is visible from the road. It is 28 metres above the river.

The cave is 110 metres long and covers total area of 270 m2.  

Comments (6)

Thank you for your important information. I am writing some articles about prehistory and its information has served me a lot. I have always admired the great Russian people for their many achievements and now much more. Thank you again for putting this important information within our reach.
Efrén Giraldo (University teacher), Colombia
07/12/2016 00:34
0
0
The unique work being conducted by the team under the brilliant leadership of Dr's Derianyanko and Shunkov has left international observers speechless with their amazing discoveries found in the Denisova Cave about the early members of the human family. Their work changes everything we thought we knew about the technology of early humans. The discovery of the jewelry and needle alone throw out time honoured perspectives of the long-lasting so-called superiority of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. This human line lived side-by-side with the Neanderthals. They traded with them had families together with the Neanderthals. It's clearly obvious both of these human line's were exceptionally sophisticated socially and technologically. It's time to formulate a new paradigm for both of these people's and rebuild one that addresses their incredible sophistication. In other words it's time to dismiss the antiquated views held and dominated by the Anglo-American schools of Archeology and Anthropology. The "Out of Africa " myth is dead and it is high time to move away this fraudulently orchestrated hoax by Reiner Protsch. Nevertheless, many British and American observers like Chris Stringer continue to "flog this dead horse". We know so little about human origins in Asia it's time to stop for a moment and reorient our intellectual bearings and focus on the exceptional opportunities Asian Anthropology, Archeology, and Paleoanthropolgy offer the scientific research community. Scientific endeavors are not the intended priority rights or strictly resevered for the Anglo-American research community. Science is a global endeavor that is intended for mankind. You simply can't trademark a new discovery anymore. The team from Novosovobirsk, Siberia illustrate that point elegantly.


(PLEASE FORGIVE ANY MISSPELLINGS OF RUSSIAN NAME'S OR LOCATIONS) RK











Randall Kimm, Fredericton, NB, CANADA
01/09/2016 16:50
1
1
The unique work being conducted by the team under the brilliant leadership of Dr's Derianyanko and Shunkov has left international observers speechless with their amazing discoveries found in the Denisova Cave about the early members of the human family. Their work changes everything we thought we knew about the technology of early humans. The discovery of the jewelry and needle alone throw out time honoured perspectives of the long-lasting so-called superiority of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. This human line lived side-by-side with the Neanderthals. They traded with them had families together with the Neanderthals. It's clearly obvious both of these human line's were exceptionally sophisticated socially and technologically. It's time to formulate a new paradigm for both of these people's and rebuild one that addresses their incredible sophistication. In other words it's time to dismiss the antiquated views held and dominated by the Anglo-American schools of Archeology and Anthropology. The "Out of Africa " myth is dead and it is high time to move away this fraudulently orchestrated hoax by Reiner Protsch. Nevertheless, many British and American observers like Chris Stringer continue to "flog this dead horse". We know so little about human origins in Asia it's time to stop for a moment and reorient our intellectual bearings and focus on the exceptional opportunities Asian Anthropology, Archeology, and Paleoanthropolgy offer the scientific research community. Scientific endeavors are not the intended priority rights or strictly resevered for the Anglo-American research community. Science is a global endeavor that is intended for mankind. You simply can't trademark a new discovery anymore. The team from Novosovobirsk, Siberia illustrate that point elegantly.


(PLEASE FORGIVE ANY MISSPELLINGS OF RUSSIAN NAME'S OR LOCATIONS) RK











Randall Kimm, Fredericton, NB, CANADA
01/09/2016 16:30
2
0
Maybe the mouth sprayed handprints found in caves worldwide are just that from another era....'Graffiti'
Paul B, Nottingham UK
28/11/2014 01:01
1
0
really interesting reading in SibTimes how much of human history started in Siberia. really enjoying your stories about tattoos, fashions from ancient times and now this one today, on Dna from the girl in cave. world understands it as place of cold exile but it looks more like a cradle of civilisation.
Bryan, Malaga
31/08/2012 14:25
13
0
how truly sad to see graffiti on the walls!
Ayvar , Russia
31/08/2012 13:20
12
2
1

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