Neanderthal-Human Sex Happened 100,000 Years Earlier

Neanderthals and modern humans may have intermixed much more than previously thought. NEANDERTHAL MUSEUM, METTMANN, GERMANY
Neanderthals and modern humans may have intermixed much more than previously thought. NEANDERTHAL MUSEUM, METTMANN, GERMANY

Previously it had been thought that the modern humans and Neanderthals first admixed about 60,000 years ago, but traces of human DNA found in a Neanderthal genome suggest that modern humans started sleeping with our now-extinct relatives 100,000 years ago. The research documenting this new finding is published in the journal Nature.

Dorsal view of the Neanderthal woman’s toe bone. Photograph: Bence Viola
Dorsal view of the Altai Neanderthal woman’s toe bone. Photograph: Bence Viola
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Dorsal view of the Altai Neanderthal woman’s toe bone. Photograph: Bence Viola

The specimen they used for the basis of this study was a toe bone found Denisova cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia. The researchers describe how they compared Neanderthal genomes with those from modern Africans who do not carry Neanderthal DNA. They found no trace of modern human DNA in Neanderthals from Spain or Croatia, but the Altai Neanderthal had strands of DNA that closely matched those of the modern Africans.

What this means is some Neanderthals came into contact with modern humans long before others did. Evidence has been mounting that early modern humans were living in the Levant and China over 120,000 years ago. This new study corroborates this finding, revealing that at least one group of modern humans made it all the way to the Altai mountains over 100,000 years ago, where they formed families with the local Neanderthals.

One thought on “Neanderthal-Human Sex Happened 100,000 Years Earlier

  1. I can’t say when or how and the different ways Human evolved over the years. when people talk about the mine and different aspects being from different animals and creatures. Why not, best traits over the course of existence came together over time through Evolution to create us. But all of us. Yes it is still happening, not everyone is the same. but we are all connected no matter who started it or how it began. These guys I don’t have a problem with, they find information or the truth no matter what it is. Those who stop the finding of truth because it might counter the known. Well next time don’t make things you can’t prove, as known facts. Its guess work Christians not facts. I don’t like Christians.

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