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Modern Humans

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Kostenki Man, reconstructed by Mikhail Gerasimov (1907-1970). An early European who was not yet phenotypically European.
Who were the first Europeans? We now have a better idea, thanks to a new paper about DNA from a man who lived some 38,700 to 36,200 years ago. His remains were found at Kostenki, a well-known Upper Paleolithic site in central European Russia (Seguin-Orlando et al., 2014). Kostenki Man tells us several things about... Read More
Andaman Islanders. Related peoples once inhabited the coastal regions of southern, southeastern, and eastern Asia. The past year brought two major advances: the long awaited sequencing of the Neanderthal genome and the genetic sequencing of an another archaic human, the Denisovans of East Asia, whose existence had previously been unsuspected. The bottom line comes down... Read More
Skhul V – one of the Skhul-Qafzeh hominins. Were they the middleman between Neanderthal genes and the modern human genome? When I initially published my last post, I pooh-poohed the rumors about the reconstructed Neanderthal genome. How could modern humans have Neanderthal DNA when no such admixture appeared in previous analyses of mtDNA, dentition, and... Read More
Did the Neanderthal gene pool overlap with the modern human gene pool? In other words, are some modern humans genetically closer to some Neanderthals than they are to other modern humans? The answer is ‘yes’ if we look at individual DNA sequences, as shown in the first graph (above): Thus, the largest difference observed between... Read More
How did archaic humans evolve into the different populations of Homo sapiens we see today? The answer has long divided anthropologists. Some opt for the ‘out-of-Africa’ model; others for the multiregional model. According to the out-of-Africa model, we all descend from a small group that existed some 100,000 to 80,000 years ago somewhere in eastern... Read More
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