Exploring the caves in the distant past, lived the Neanderthals and denisovans, scientists from Russia, Western Europe and Australia were able to obtain DNA samples of ancient people. Previously in order to get the genes of extinct hominids, the experts was required skeletal remains, but this time without them has managed to do.
In the study, researchers collected and studied samples of sediment from seven different archaeological sites located in five countries of Eurasia. After analyzing these deposits, experts have identified fragments of the mitochondrial DNA of woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, cave bear, cave hyena, and eight other species of extinct mammals. However, the most valuable of the scientists were nine samples of sediments, eight of which contained the mitochondrial DNA of Neanderthals, and one DNA Denisovsky person. Contrary to the fears of scientists, DNA samples of ancient people are not “lost” among the others, and they were sufficient for further study.
Experts explain that not always in caves, in which, by circumstantial evidence, which lived ancient people, could find their remains, and even those bones that scientists have yet to discover, are not always suitable for the study. In this regard, researchers are looking for alternative to obtain information about the ancient inhabitants of the caves, and DNA samples obtained directly “from the floor” of the caves, is one of such ways. Scientists suggest that further application of the new method will allow you to get a better idea about what types of people and periods of history lived in different corners of the Earth. Moreover, if a new technique will be able to successfully apply in the future, it will probably enable you to better learn about the many under-explored related to modern humans, and also allow you to learn about their culture.
The scientific work of specialists was published in the journal Science.