In DepthHuman Origins

A room with a view—for three kinds of humans

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Science  01 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6426, pp. 438
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6426.438

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With its light-filled main gallery and sweeping views of the Altai Mountains of southern Russia, Denisova Cave was a Stone Age version of a Manhattan penthouse. Overlooking the Anui River, where herds of animals came to drink, it offered an unparalleled vantage for spotting game and other humans, as well as refuge from Siberian storms for generations of Neanderthals, their Denisovan cousins, and modern humans. Now, two teams have combined state-of-the-art dating methods to create a timeline of when each of these groups lived in the cave. The Denisovans moved in 287,000 years ago, more than 100,000 years earlier than had been thought, and then occupied the cave off and on through shifting climates until 55,000 years ago, a period when Neanderthals also came and went.