(This article is actually the second part of the Neanderthals & Denisovans — Who Were They? Comparison Of Evidence Against Pop-Culture Projection article, that had to be split because of length. Head over to that article for the preface and further information.)
The “Denisovans” receive their name from the Denisova Cave located in south-western Siberia, in the Altai Mountains. The cave itself has received its modern name owing to a Russian hermit by the name of Denis that lived there in the 1700s.
While the cave had been explored before, it wasn’t until 2008, when Michael Shunkov from the Russian Academy of Sciences and other Russian archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Novosibirsk explored the cave, that hominid remains were found.
To be particular, in addition to artifacts, including a bracelet, the finger bone of a juvenile hominin was discovered. The artifacts were dated using radiocarbon and oxygen isotopes to sometime around 40,000 Before Present. A bone needle found at the site at a later point has been dated back to 50,000 BP — making it the oldest needle yet found anywhere in the world.
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