During excavations near the entrance of Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in southwestern Germany in 1937 a 124,000 year old Neanderthal femur was discovered. Now its mitochondrial DNA was analyzed and provides a timeline for a suggested migration of hominins out of Africa before 220,000 years agoMore DNA stuff, this time from Past Horizon. I quote from the start of the article, Neanderthal DNA gives timeline for new modern human-related dispersal from Africa.
Ancient mitochondrial DNA from the femur of an archaic European hominin is helping to resolve the complicated relationship between modern humans and Neanderthals. The genetic data recovered by the research team, led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Tübingen, provides a timeline for a proposed hominin migration out of Africa that occurred after the ancestors of Neanderthals arrived in Europe by a lineage more closely related to modern humans. These hominins interbred with Neanderthals already present in Europe, leaving their mark on the Neanderthals’ mitochondrial DNA. The study, published in Nature Communications, (open access) pushes back the possible date of this event to between 470,000 and 220,000 years ago.
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