Publication Details

Morley, M. W., Goldberg, P. & Roberts, R. 'Bert'. (2019). Dishing the dirt: sediments reveal a famous early human cave site was also home to hyenas and wolves. The Conversation, 26 Sept 1-5.

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The Conversation


Denisova Cave in Siberia's Altai Mountains is one of the world's most important archaeological sites. It is famous for preserving evidence of three early human groups: Neanderthals, early Homo sapiens, and a third group known as the Denisovans. Fossil bones, stone tools and ancient DNA gathered from the cave have told a story that is extremely significant for understanding the early chapters of human evolution in Asia, going back 300,000 years. But our new analysis of the cave's dirt floor reveals that it was also frequented by hyenas, wolves, and even bears for much of its history.