Denisova Cave, Altai Mtns, Siberia
An interesting idea was presented to me today which I had not considered until now. It is the idea that the Denisovan who lived in the Altai Mountains at Denisova Cave could have been exiles. That’s an interesting idea to say the least because the modern humans living in the region have no Denisova DNA and you’d think they would since it appears at least some Denisovans lived in the region long ago.
Denisova Cave is located in the Bashelaksky Range of the Altai Mountains, Siberia, Russia. Denisova Cave is a major archaeological site when it comes to the Denisovans because it’s the first place where remains were found that we had no idea existed. The cave also contains evidence of habitation by H. sapiens and Neanderthals. These habitations were concurrent, meaning, at the SAME time!
Map showing location of Altai Mountains
As recent as 2016 a needle made of bone was discovered here dating back 50 kya and it turned out to be the oldest known needle ever found. Sediments inside the cave are rich in animal remains including animals that are now extinct. They include remains from cave lions, cave hyenas, and numerous small mammals. Remains of reptiles have also been found in the cave sediment along with 50 bird species. Continue Reading
The tomb of a Scythian prince has been discovered in the Russian republic of Tuva deep in a swamp by archaeologist Gino Caspari and it appears undisturbed. This tomb is a Scythian burial mound and evidence suggests that it is the largest Scythian princely tomb found to date in southern Siberia. It may well also be one of the oldest such burial mounds and it may also contain some well preserved treasures.
Using his computer, initially, Caspari discovered a circular mound structure on high resolution satellite images of the Uyuk River Valley in southern Siberia. An initial trial dig on site was carried out by Bern University in conjunction with the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Hermitage Museum. That dig confirmed the presence of a mound burial. The structure is known as a “Kurgan” meaning Scythian princely tomb.
The discovery is being called Tunnug 1 or Arzhan 0. It is similar in construction to the Kugran known as Arzhan 1 which is located only about 10 kilometers away to the northeast. Until the discovery of this new mound Arzhan 1 has been considered to be the oldest such structure. This region, incidentally, is commonly called the “Siberian Valley of the Kings” due to the large numbers of Kurgans discovered in the area. Continue Reading
H/T to JR Bentley for sending us this research article………..
It would be an understatement to say that there are problems with the Out-of-Africa (OOA) theory and finally new research and reanalysis of prior research is attempting to correct some of those problems but what is being found is that the OOA may be absolutely WRONG to begin with. This becomes especially obvious when genetic evidence is looked at. In fact, WORLD science is now leaving the OOA theory behind and a Chinese research team is advancing an out-of-ASIA theory for modern human origins based on Y-DNA & mtDNA evidence and, thus, they are reviving the Multiregional Theory for human evolution based on autosomal evidence. The field of genetic research is becoming more precise and I think that is fantastic because it is now beginning to give us a new picture of human evolution and migration patterns!! Finally, we are getting some real concrete proof of what was and what was NOT.
The latest research by Chinese geneticists suggests that about 2 mya the first split occurred in modern human autosomes. Further, they’ve uncovered genetic evidence of Y and mtDNA having originated in East Asia and dispersing outward from East Asia via HYBRIDIZATION by archaic human ancestors!! This research strongly suggests a EURASIAN origin rather than an African origin for ancient human ancestors!! The primary research team is being led by Shi Huang who is a US educated and trained geneticist.
Huang’s research confirms genetic diversity is highest in Africans and lowest in Amerindians. His team also confirms Africans & Amerindians are genetically most divergent from each other. Africans are found to be closer to each other than they are to other groups and that New world sub-populations are more distinct from each other than other continental groups. Further, they’ve also found that Amerindians have the world’s highest values of intergroup diversity.
The findings of this research are currently under peer review and the team argues that African genetic diversity is NOT a function of greater age of African hominins but is a product of selection! This is supported by data showing increased African diversity in the study. Yuan uses autosomal molecular divergence dates as evidence for multiregional evolution. That date is derived from estimated molecular divergence between autosomes of major human groups to have taken place 1.96–1.91 mya which is consistent with paleobiological evidence for a Homo (human) migration out of Africa 2 myr. Continue Reading
Question from a recent email:
“I understand that in Florida there was a discovery of bog people at a site called “Windover” and that these remains found in the mud were well-preserved and date back thousands of years. It’s also my understanding that these people were northern Europeans as proven by their DNA. Is this true?”
“Naira” a reconstructed face from a Paleoindian skull. Lived 13 kya in North America. Notice the obvious Oriental facial features? This skull was found in the Yucatan in Mexico in 2007.
I blogged about America’s Bog People back in September 2016 (see link below) but let me review it here. The skeletal remains were discovered by a backhoe operator in 1982 in Brevard County, Florida. Remains included men, women, children, and infants. In all thus far 168 skeletal remains have been discovered buried in peat covered by about 3 feet of water. The remains show evidence of disease and healed wounds and some show signs of having suffered from Osteoarthritis and malnutrition. Some showed signs of skull fractures as well. Most were buried in the fetal position with their faces facing north. The bodies were held down by stakes to prevent them from rising to the surface as their bodies decomposed.
Some of the bodies had preserved brain tissue from which DNA was obtained. DNA analysis indicated that these people were of Asian origins and had a rare haplogroup X gene. DNA also showed NO BIOLOGICAL AFFILIATION OR RELATIONSHIP to modern Native Americans known to have lived in the area! Dating revealed results between 6990-8120 years ago via C14 dating techniques. This is not the only site. There are several sites in Florida with underwater/peat burials and it is believed these people may have believed water would prevent the spirits of the dead from rising. Continue Reading
Altai Mountains, SW Siberia, Russia
The First Fossil Evidence of the Denisovans
Several posts have been made on this blog regarding the Denisovans and what I want to do in this post is to begin to make some possible connections between the Denisovans and other hominids along with considering some possibilities. Denisova Cave is located in the Altai Mountains in Southwestern Siberia, Russia and this was the site where the first evidence of the Denisovans was discovered in 2010. This cave was originally investigated in the 1970’s by a Russian anthropologist by the name of Nikolai Ovodov looking for fossil remains of canids (dogs, wolves, jackals, dingoes, etc.). In 2008 the cave was once again investigated by the Russian Academy of Sciences. That exploration was led by Michael Shunkov and also involved other Russian scientists. It was this 2008 investigative team that found the first evidence of the Denisovans which consisted of a finger bone believed to be from a juvenile hominin that came to be known as the “X woman.” Associated artifacts found in the cave included a bracelet found at the same level as the finger bone which was dated at around 40 kyr (thousand years old) using radiocarbon dating and oxygen isotope dating. Since 2008 other investigations in the cave have established that hominins occupied the cave at various times as far back as 125 kya (thousand years ago) and possibly longer. Continue Reading
Cerutti Mastodon Site in San Diego, California discoveries indicate that early humans were in North America at least 130 kya.
Calico Hills Early Man Site in California indicate humans were in North America 100-200 kya.
Bluefish Cave Site, Canada indicates humans were in North America 24 kya.
Puebla, Mexico Site indicates humans were in Mexico 200-250 kya
Pedra Furada Site in Brazil indicate humans were in South America 48-60 kya.
And there are more…………….
When we take a look at these sites and the dates they have yielded we find that it appears humans have been in the Americas since 250-200 kya. But this is far from being the generally accepted timeframe for when humans migrated into the Americas! That timeline says we migrated across the Bering Landbridge around 15 kya! However, the more archaeologists discover, the more it appears that “someone” was in the Americas before 15 kya and that “mystery population” is affectionately known as “POPULATION Y.” Additionally, the more we learn about Paleoindians the more apparent it becomes that they did NOT look like modern Native Americans and, in fact, were quite different. At the tip of South America we have a people known as the Fuegians who ironically have many features sen in Homo erectus and we find the same features in a people known as the Pericues who lived at the tip of Baja California. But, according to mainstream thinking H. erectus was long extinct before these timeframes. I suggest that hypothesis is WRONG and note that some researchers believe H. erectus could have existed up until 20-30 kya!! Continue Reading
This post was originally posted on the San Pedro Institute site in November 2014 and is being reposted here.
By Dr. Rob L., San Pedro Institute
The origins of modern Europeans remains a matter of debate and speculation but this past week (Nov 2014) a scientific team published some new DNA findings that may shed light on European origins. Their findings were published in the noted journal Science.
Kostenki Man 30,000 year old skull reconstruction found in Western Russia
The team successfully sequenced DNA from Kostenki Man found in Western Russia and it was revealed that he lived between 38,700–36,200 years ago. This is one of the oldest fossils of anatomically modern humans from Europe ever found. The fossil is known as K14 and it was noted that he shares a close ancestry with the 24,000 year old Mal’ta Boy from central Siberia, European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, some modern western Siberians, and many modern Europeans but not east Asians. Further, the fossil genome shows evidence of shared ancestry with all Eurasians including later Neolithic farmers.
From the genome sequencing the team has also concluded that Western Eurasians and Eastern Asians diverged from each other more than 36, 200 years ago and that the genomic structure of modern Europeans dates back to the Upper Paleolithic and derives from a meta-population that sometimes stretched from Europe to Central Asia. Continue Reading
In 2009 Brigham Young University conducted a study trying to answer why glaciers grew even when Asia was heating up 9 kya. After all, everyone knows ice is supposed to melt when heat is applied to it right?
These growing glaciers are located in the southeastern Himalayas. Most glaciers in Central Asia at this time were retreating as hotter summer temps cam about. But these glaciers in the SE Himalayas grew 1-6 kilometers!
Stronger monsoons were thought to be the cause of the glacier growth but BYU research found that only about 30% of snowfall from more intense monsoons could be attributed to the growth of these glaciers as Asia was heating up. Shifting weather patterns apparently brought more clouds to the area and the additional shade created a pocket of colder temps. Higher winds also are believed to have contribute to the growth of these glaciers and these higher winds caused more evaporation in this typically humid area.
So it appears not all glaciers respond to global temperature increases and I’d say the opposite if likely also true, that is, not all glaciers respond to global temp decreases! Some local regions seem to have had their own little micro-environments going on that went against the global grain! Of course that is also true in our own times too.