PerspectiveAnthropology

Paleolithic networking

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Science  03 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6363, pp. 586-587
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaq0771

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Summary

Humans are connected by networks of many kinds, extending from immediate family to distant strangers. Two studies in this issue use ancient DNA (aDNA) to shed new light on the networks of Paleolithic Neandertals and modern humans, who lived before agriculture was invented about 10,000 years ago. On page 655 of this issue, Prüfer et al. (1) report the high-quality genome sequence of a Neandertal woman from Vindija Cave in Croatia who lived 50,000 to 65,000 years ago. The sequence provides insights into the genetic networks of Neandertals and their interactions with modern humans. On page 659 of this issue, Sikora et al. (2) present genome sequences of a small group of modern humans who lived 33,000 to 35,000 years ago at Sunghir in western Russia, showing that their local social network resembled those of present-day hunter-gatherer groups.