Genetic analysis of bones found in a cave in Spain has revealed the oldest human DNA discovered to date, from roughly 400,000 years ago, and this find adds a mysterious new branch to the human family tree.
On humanity's evolutionary family tree, modern humans — or Homo sapien sapien — are at the top, occupying the tip of a winding branch that has had several offshoots over the millennia. However, we are only one of several boughs on the tree. Evidence has shown that the Neanderthals of Europe and west Asia and the Denisova of southern Siberia — both of whom were around at roughly the same time as each other, and at the same time as ancestors of modern humans — occupy two other branches. It has also shown that all three of our species branched off from a common ancestor known as Homo heidelbergensis.
Up until now it was thought that Neanderthals and Denisovans were completely separate from one another afterRead More »from Oldest human DNA sequenced reveals new mysteries in our family tree