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Interestingly, Douka and colleagues note that the most recent admixture event between Denisovans and modern humans is dated to later than that (somewhere between 54,000-31,000 years ago), suggesting that a different Denisovan population may have participated in that event. Timing of archaic hominin occupation of Denisova Cave in southern Siberia.Readers who are paying careful attention may notice that I haven’t said anything about anatomically modern humans in this cave. Nature 565, 594–599 (2019)." Denisova Cave, located in the foothills of the Altai mountains, is an extraordinarily important place in the history of human evolution.
Our findings will make a significant contribution to that debate.”Joint lead author Dirk Hoffmann, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, added that symbolic material culture – a collection of cultural and intellectual achievements handed down from generation to generation – has, until now, only been attributed to our species.“The emergence of symbolic material culture represents a fundamental threshold in the evolution of humankind.
It is one of the main pillars of what makes us human,” he said.“Artefacts whose functional value lies not so much in their practical but rather in their symbolic use are proxies for fundamental aspects of human cognition as we know it.”Early symbolic artefacts, dating back 70,000 years, have been found in Africa but are associated with modern humans.
These hominins included our close relatives, the Denisovans and Neanderthals, whose genomes show a history of interbreeding with each other (and with some anatomically modern human populations).
In 2018, DNA was recovered from the remains of a child of a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father (who himself had Neanderthal ancestry), suggesting that these interactions may have been common.
However, two articles published just last week in the journal Nature (Jacobs ) go a long way towards resolving the chronology of occupation of the cave.
Jacobs and colleagues used thermoluminescence dating, which can determine how long it’s been since individual quartz crystals were last exposed to light, to help understand the complex stratigraphy of the Pleistocene deposits in the cave.Joint lead author Dr Chris Standish, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton, said: “This is an incredibly exciting discovery which suggests Neanderthals were much more sophisticated than is popularly believed.“Our results show that the paintings we dated are, by far, the oldest known cave art in the world, and were created at least 20,000 years before modern humans arrived in Europe from Africa – therefore they must have been painted by Neanderthals.”A team of researchers from the UK, Germany, Spain and France analysed more than 60 carbonate samples from three cave sites in Spain – La Pasiega (north-eastern Spain), Maltravieso (western Spain) and Ardales (south-western Spain).All three caves contain red (ochre) or black paintings of groups of animals, dots and geometric signs, as well as hand stencils, hand prints and engravings.There is evidence that Neanderthals in Europe used body ornamentation around 40,000 to 45,000 years ago, but many researchers have suggested this was inspired by modern humans who at the time had just arrived in Europe.Study co-author Paul Pettitt, of Durham University, commented: “Neanderthals created meaningful symbols in meaningful places.According to the researchers, creating the art must have involved such sophisticated behaviour as the choosing of a location, planning of light source and mixing of pigments.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating