search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Modern Humans and Denisovans May Have Interbred Twice

Thursday, March 15, 2018

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON—According to a report in New Scientist, a team led by Sharon Browning of the University of Washington has found evidence that modern humans and Denisovans interbred on the Asian mainland some 50,000 years ago. The Denisovans, an extinct hominin group, were identified from a finger bone discovered in Siberia’s Denisova Cave in 2010. Denisovan DNA has since been detected in modern Australasians, especially people now living in Papua New Guinea. In the new study, Browning and her colleagues examined the genomes of 5,600 people living in Europe, Asia, America, and Oceania, and detected Denisovan DNA in Han Chinese, Chinese Dai, and Japanese populations. “Although the Papuans ended up with more Denisovan ancestry, it turns out to be less similar to the sequenced Denisovan,” Browning explained. The study also indicates that there were at least two distinct populations of Denisovans living in Asia. For more, go to “Caveman Genetics.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement