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Karin Bojs: 300,000 years of life in the cave

It is excellent idea – as Andrev Walden suggested here in DN the other day – to use a string as the timeline. In this case, one centimetre on the string corresp

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Karin Bojs: 300,000 years of life in the cave

It is excellent idea – as Andrev Walden suggested here in DN the other day – to use a string as the timeline. In this case, one centimetre on the string correspond to a thousand years.

the World's likely oldest city, Jericho in the west bank, would then have been in existence for eleven centimeters. Byblos in the Lebanon in seven centimeters and Damascus in Syria as long, seven centimeters.

Denisovagrottan in Siberia could have been inhabited for upwards of three meters.

In this week's issue of the journal Nature reports two research groups what has happened in the cave the last 300.000 years. They have used new technical methods for dating the layers in the cave, and to examine what kind of people lived there at different stages.

have dug in Denisovagrottan since the 1980s. But the became world famous in 2010, when a group of researchers with the Swedish Svante Pääbo at the forefront of dna-analyzed a lillfingerben from a little girl. It turned out that the girl had belonged to a previously unknown group of people – a kind of genetic cousins to the neanderthals. They got the name Denisovamänniskor.

since Then, scientists have DNA-determined the remains from several Denisovamänniskor and the usual neanderthals in the cave. And also the from a girl who appeared to have a mixed origin. Her dad was Denisovamänniska and her mother neanderthal.

it has also developed new techniques to analyze dna from animals, plants and people right out of the sediments of the cave floor.

Overall, the new results show that the oldest analyzed Denisovamänniskorna in the cave lived up to 200,000 years ago. The youngest of the approximately 50,000 years ago. The neanderthals are from several periods – with the start of around of 190,000 years ago, and the finish of the around 90 000 years ago. There are also stone tools that are upwards of 300,000 years, but who can not be tied together with human remains.

and the neanderthals have succeeded each other in the cave, sometimes they seem to have lived next to each other. And the mixed girl shows that the two groups sometimes had close contact. Not enough that she herself is mixed, her Denisovapappa had elements of the neanderthals a few generations away.

the Question is when a third variety, such as we, anatomically modern humans, came into the picture.

Researchers are divided on the issue.

found the advanced objects of bone and ivory. Rings, pendants, and even a sewing needle. The objects dated to around 45,000 years.

these items have been produced by Denisovamänniskor? Some of the Russian scientists believe it. Chris Stringer, a leading british anthropologist, on the other hand, think of the modern people.

None of them have evidence. Neither modern humans or Denisovamänniskor from this period have been found in the cave. But in Ust Ishim, which is also located in the southwest of Siberia, is found a modern human dating to about 45.000 years.

in the debate about what we modern people really have abilities that neanderthals and Denisovamänniskor had not.

To make a sewing needle is difficult. In the Western europe are the oldest finds are much younger, from the culture solutréen, about 20,000 years ago. Clearly made by modern humans. To make the pendants indicate imagination and creative thinking.

Personally, I agree with Chris Stringer: it is striking that the pins and pendants are popping up in Siberia just at the same time as we.

For four and a half inches then, if we keep to our three-metre long piece of string.

Even in Europe, we have modern humans existed for about four and a half inches. There are still a couple of metres, if we are to be as persistent as the neanderthals and Denisovamänniskor was in the siberian cave.

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