Nature magazine researchers announced Wednesday (May 1st) that Denisova’s man lived on the Tibetan plateau at least 160,000 years ago. The proof was made thanks to the study of a piece of mandible discovered in a cave by …
Nature magazine researchers announced Wednesday (May 1st) that Denisova’s man lived on the Tibetan plateau at least 160,000 years ago. The proof was made by studying a piece of mandible discovered in a cave by a Tibetan monk.
Until now no proof had been found of the existence of Denisova’s man outside this Siberian cave where the hominid, a contemporary of our Neanderthal cousin, was discovered. It is therefore a great surprise and a great discovery that this half-jaw that attests to it: the man of Denisova did not live that in Siberia, he probably traveled all the Asian continent.
It was already known that Denisovian DNA had survived in trace form in present-day populations in Asia, and particularly in Tibet, but this is material evidence that removes all doubt.
The study of this jaw began nine years ago in China. The fossil itself was discovered in the 1980s and had been waiting to unfold. The denisovian teenager to whom this jaw belonged lived on a Tibetan plateau 160,000 years ago. By far the oldest evidence of human presence in Tibet.
For scientists, this proves that before the arrival of „homo sapiens“, Denisova had evolved to support both the altitude, 3,300 meters where the mandible was found, and the lack of oxygen. He also shares with contemporary Tibetans a gene that allows the blood not to thicken in a rarefied atmosphere.
For the scientists, there are still many other discoveries awaiting Denisova’s elusive man, who are still dormant in museum drawers.