Dating cave sediments

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cientists digging in the mountains of southern Siberia have revealed key insights into the lives of Denisovans, a mysterious branch of the ancient human family tree.

Both studies, published in , describe new discoveries in the Denisova Cave of the Altai Mountains, where excavations have continued for the past 40 years.

Those efforts have revealed ancient human remains carrying the DNA of both the Denisovans and Neanderthals who made the high-ceilinged cave their home — sometimes, even having children together.

When they lived in the cave, and with whom, is another mystery about the Denisovans that was investigated, sediment layer by sediment layer, in the second study.

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Although it is only a single cave, the information contained within it makes it an important site of the Southern Alps.Both Neanderthals and Denisovans belong to the genus Homo, though it’s still not entirely clear whether the Denisovans are a separate species or a subspecies of modern humans — after all, we only have six fossil fragments to go on.Nevertheless, we’re one step closer to finding out. Google(); req('single_work'); $('.js-splash-single-step-signup-download-button').one('click', function(e){ req_and_ready('single_work', function() ); new c. AA(Swiss Institute for Speleology and Karst Studies SISKA, c.p.

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