Age estimates for hominin fossils and the onset of the Upper Palaeolithic at Denisova Cave

  title={Age estimates for hominin fossils and the onset of the Upper Palaeolithic at Denisova Cave},
  author={Katerina Douka and Viviane Slon and Zenobia Jacobs and Christopher Bronk Ramsey and Michael V. Shunkov and Anatoly P. Derevianko and Fabrizio Mafessoni and Maxim B. Kozlikin and Bo Li and Rainer Gr{\"u}n and Daniel J. Comeskey and Thibaut Devi{\`e}se and Samantha Brown and Bence Viola and Leslie Kinsley and Michael Buckley and Matthias Meyer and Richard G. Roberts and Svante P{\"a}{\"a}bo and Janet Kelso and Thomas F.G. Higham},
Denisova Cave in the Siberian Altai (Russia) is a key site for understanding the complex relationships between hominin groups that inhabited Eurasia in the Middle and Late Pleistocene epoch. DNA sequenced from human remains found at this site has revealed the presence of a hitherto unknown hominin group, the Denisovans1,2, and high-coverage genomes from both Neanderthal and Denisovan fossils provide evidence for admixture between these two populations3. Determining the age of these fossils is… 
Pleistocene sediment DNA reveals hominin and faunal turnovers at Denisova Cave
Analysis of DNA from 728 sediment samples collected in a grid-like manner from layers dating to the Pleistocene epoch detects a turnover in the mtDNA of Denisovans that coincides with changes in the composition of faunal mtDNA, and evidence that Denisovan and Neanderthals occupied the site repeatedly is detected.
Denisovans, Neanderthals, and Early Modern Humans: A Review of the Pleistocene Hominin Fossils from the Altai Mountains (Southern Siberia)
This paper reviews significant issues related to the fossil hominins from the Altai Mountains of Siberia (Russia), namely Denisovans, Neanderthals, and early modern humans. Uncritical acceptance of
Hominin and animal activities in the microstratigraphic record from Denisova Cave (Altai Mountains, Russia)
Micromorphology can help identify areas of sedimentary deposit that are most conducive to ancient DNA preservation and could be usefully integrated with DNA analyses of sediments at archaeological sites to illuminate features of their human and environmental history that are invisible to the naked eye.
A late Middle Pleistocene Denisovan mandible from the Tibetan Plateau
Fossil evidence indicates that Denisovans occupied the Tibetan Plateau in the Middle Pleistocene epoch and successfully adapted to this high-altitude hypoxic environments long before the regional arrival of modern Homo sapiens.
Denisovan DNA in Late Pleistocene sediments from Baishiya Karst Cave on the Tibetan Plateau
The long-term occupation of BKC by Denisovans suggests that they may have adapted to life at high altitudes and may have contributed such adaptations to modern humans on the Tibetan Plateau.
Using hominin introgression to trace modern human dispersals
The dispersal of anatomically modern human populations out of Africa and across much of the rest of the world around 55 to 50 thousand years before present (ka) is recorded genetically by the
The Paleolithic diet of Siberia and Eastern Europe: evidence based on stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) in hominin and animal bone collagen
We present an analysis and interpretation of current knowledge on Paleolithic diet in Siberia and Eastern Europe, based on C and N stable isotope ratios in bone collagen of the pre-Last Glacial
Unearthing Neanderthal population history using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from cave sediments
These results demonstrate that environmental data can be applied to study the population genetics of the extinct Neanderthal and Denisovan lineages, identifying a turnover of Neanderthal populations ∼100,000 years ago and developed methods for the effective retrieval and analysis of ancient hominin nuclear DNA from sediments and used them to uncover previously unknown events in Neanderthal history.
The Northern Route for Human dispersal in Central and Northeast Asia: New evidence from the site of Tolbor-16, Mongolia
The early occurrence of the Initial Upper Palaeolithic, a techno-complex whose sudden appearance coincides with the first occurrence of H. sapiens in the Eurasian steppes, establishes an essential archaeological link between the Siberian Altai and Northwestern China.


Timing of archaic hominin occupation of Denisova Cave in southern Siberia
The stratigraphic sequences in Denisova Cave are described, a chronology for the Pleistocene deposits and associated remains from optical dating of the cave sediments are established, and the environmental context of hominin occupation of the site is reconstructed from around 300,000 to 20,000 years ago.
Revised age of late Neanderthal occupation and the end of the Middle Paleolithic in the northern Caucasus
It is indicated at a high level of probability that Neanderthals did not survive at Mezmaiskaya Cave after 39 ka cal BP ("calendrical" age in kiloannum before present, based on IntCal09 calibration curve).
A fourth Denisovan individual
The view that Denisovans were likely to have been present in the vicinity of Denisova Cave over an extended time period is reinforced, and it is shown that the level of nuclear DNA sequence diversity found among Denisovan is within the lower range of that of present-day human populations.
Identification of a new hominin bone from Denisova Cave, Siberia using collagen fingerprinting and mitochondrial DNA analysis
The huge potential collagen fingerprinting has for identifying hominin remains in highly fragmentary archaeological assemblages is demonstrated, improving the resources available for wider studies into human evolution.
The Neandertal type site revisited: Interdisciplinary investigations of skeletal remains from the Neander Valley, Germany
  • R. Schmitz, D. Serre, F. Smith
  • Geology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2002
This work reports excavations of cave sediments that were removed from the Feldhofer caves in 1856 that yielded over 60 human skeletal fragments, along with a large series of Paleolithic artifacts and faunal material that represents the first interdisciplinary analysis of Neandertal remains incorporating genetic, direct dating, and morphological dimensions simultaneously.
A mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos
An almost complete mitochondrial genome sequence of a hominin from Sima de los Huesos is determined and it is shown that it is closely related to the lineage leading to mitochondrial genomes of Denisovans, an eastern Eurasian sister group to Neanderthals.
Neandertal and Denisovan DNA from Pleistocene sediments
Using targeted enrichment of mitochondrial DNA, it is shown that cave sediments represent a rich source of ancient mammalian DNA that often includes traces of hominin DNA, even at sites and in layers where no Hominin remains have been discovered.
The complete mitochondrial DNA genome of an unknown hominin from southern Siberia
A complete mitochondrial DNA sequence retrieved from a bone excavated in 2008 in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia represents a hitherto unknown type of hominin mtDNA that shares a common ancestor with anatomically modern human and Neanderthal mtDNAs about 1.0 million years ago.
Genetic history of an archaic hominin group from Denisova Cave in Siberia
A tooth found in Denisova Cave carries a mitochondrial genome highly similar to that of the finger bone, further indicating that Denisovans have an evolutionary history distinct from Neanderthals and modern humans.
New data on the late Neandertals: direct dating of the Belgian Spy fossils.
The results show that Neandertals survived to at least approximately 36,000 BP in Belgium and that the Spy fossils may be associated to the Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician, a transitional techno-complex defined in northwest Europe and recognized in the Spy collections.