Thursday 31 January 2019

Keble academics play key role in identifying evidence of earliest humans

Professor Tom Higham (Keble Fellow and Director of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit) and former Keble DPhil, Dr Katerina Douka (Group Leader and Principal Investigator of FINDER at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany), have played a key role in new research identifying the earliest evidence of some of the first known humans — Denisovans and Neanderthals.

A multi-disciplinary team from the UK, Russia, Australia, Canada and Germany, collaborated on a detailed investigation over the course of five years, to date the archaeological site of Denisova cave, situated in the foothills of Siberia’s Altai Mountains. This is the only site in the world known to have been occupied by both archaic human groups (hominins) — Denisovans and Neanderthal — at various times.

The research, published in Nature, puts a timeline on when Neanderthals and their enigmatic cousins, the Denisovans, were present at the site and the environmental conditions they faced before going extinct.

You can find further details here.