- A rare species of primitive human roamed the forests of Eurasia 200,000 years ago and may have made tools and even jewellery.
- Denisovans — a cousin of Neanderthals — were discovered in 2010 when scientists working in a cave in southern Siberia obtained a finger bone of a girl belonging to a previously unidentified group of humans.
- Because they have so far only been located at the Denisova Cave, far less is known about them than their more famous relatives Neanderthals, who executed sophisticated hunting strategies in groups, made fire, tools and clothing.
- As well as human remains, researchers found perforated animal teeth possibly used as necklaces, bone tools, ostrich shell beads and stone-worked bracelets — all artefacts previously only associated with modern humans and, more recently, Neanderthals.
- In the absence of any other hominim remains in the areas of the cave where the objects were found
- The most likely explanation” was that they were the work of Denisovans.
- The earliest (objects) date back to 49,000 years ago, which is the earliest evidence we have of this type of behaviour in northern Eurasia, if not the entire Eurasian continent.
- The evidence suggests that the most likely explanation is that Denisovans are making them.
- The Denisova Cave last made headlines in August with the discovery of Denny, a half-Neanderthal half-Denisovan hybrid who was the first evidence of inter-breeding among those two early human species.
Studies believe that Denny appeared around 100,000 years ago, meaning that Neanderthal and Denisovan man may have interbred for millenia before disappearing around 40,000 years ago.