Scientists have extracted DNA from skulls found centuries ago.
As early as 1848, parts of the fossilized Neanderthal skulls (paleoanthropes) were found in Forbes Quarry and in 1926 in the Devil’s Tower (Gibraltar).
Recently it became known that scientists from the Name Museum of Natural History and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology for the first time extracted DNA from bones. Thus, the researchers were going to establish the exact age of the remains. It is worth noting that these ancient people were considered the last of their kind.
Experts used the DNA preparation method, during which the degree of contamination of genetic samples is reduced. Next, scientists determined the primary structure of the genome (sequencing).
As a result, it was possible to establish that the bones found in the Devil’s Tower belong to a 3-5-year-old boy, and the remains from Forbes Quarry belong to an adult woman genetically close to the early Neanderthals that existed in West Asia and Europe 60-120 thousand years ago.
As a result, scientists have found out – the bones are actually older than previously thought.
Neanderthal bones dating back 37-42 thousand years are found in Belgium, France, and Russia.
Recall that in the Harheim district in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), during the construction of new residential buildings, they came across the skull of one of the first people who decided to lead a sedentary lifestyle during the Stone Age (Neolithic).
Also in place were ceramic fragments, which were attributed to the culture of linear tape ceramics.
Bones are currently considered the oldest find that was identified in these places – dates back to 4800 BC.
Scientists are going to study the skull in more detail using modern methods.
Earlier we wrote that in a cave in southern Greece, scientists stumbled upon a Cro-Magnon skull, which is 210 thousand years old.
This suggests that our ancestors left Africa earlier than anticipated. You can also say with confidence that the population in the Old World grew faster than scientists thought.
The remains of this Homo sapiens are 16 thousand years older than those found in Israel last year.