We know that some modern human genomes contain fragments of DNA from an ancient population of humans called Denisovans, the remains of which have been found at only one site, a cave in what is now Siberia.
Two papers published in Nature today give us a firmer understanding of when these little-known archaic humans (hominins) lived.
Denisovans were unknown until 2010, when their genome was first announced. The DNA was obtained from a girl’s fingerbone found buried in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia.
The new studies provide the first robust timeline for the Denisovan fossils and DNA recovered from the cave sediments, as well as the environments that the Denisovans experienced.