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A team led by Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has recovered more human fossils and stone tools, along with compelling evidence that the site is far older than the revised estimate.
The researchers described their findings recently in Nature. sapiens, as the team argues, the finds push back the origin of our species by more than 100,000 years and challenge leading ideas about where and how our lineage evolved.
"It was the first time a new group of distinct humans was discovered" via genetic analysis rather than by anatomical description, said Svante Pääbo, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute (M. I.) for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, in a conference call with reporters.
Since the geologic column represents millions of years of Earth's history, then obviously the fossils in each of the layers must be the same age as the layer in which they are found.The analysis adds new twists to prevailing notions about archaic human history."Denisova is a big surprise," says John Hawks, a biological anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who was not involved in the new research.Since each of these layers seems so specialized it is easy to conclude that one type of creature gave rise to the next type of creature over the course of whatever time it took to form the various layers between them.Radiometric dating and many other techniques are used to support the idea that this transformation process took tens and hundreds of millions of years.
Tens of thousands of years ago modern humans crossed paths with the group of hominins known as the Neandertals.