The research is based on the analysis of many ancient human remains – including whole teeth and bone fragments – found in Cave in Bulgaria The last year.
The genetic sequencing revealed that the remains came from individuals who were more closely related to the present-day populations of East Asia and the Americas than Europe.
“This indicates that they belong to a recent human migration to Europe whose genetic record was not previously known,” said the research published in the journal Nature.
The study added that it “provides evidence of at least some continuity between early modern humans in Europe and later people in Eurasia.”
Matija Hajdingak, an associate researcher at the German Max Planck Institute for Evolution, said the results “changed our previous understanding of early human migration into Europe.” anthropologist Who helped guide the search.
“It showed how the first history of modern Europeans in Europe could have been turbulent and involved population replacement,” she told AFP.
One possibility raised by the results is “the dispersal of human populations that are then replaced.” [by other groups] Later in Western Eurasia, but they continue to live and contribute to the ancestry of the peoples of Eastern Eurasia. ”
The remains were discovered last year in the Bachu Kiro Cave in Bulgaria and were hailed at the time as evidence that humans lived nearby. Neanderthals In Europe much earlier than previously thought.
The genetic analysis of the remains also revealed that modern humans in Europe at this time mixed with Neanderthals more than previously thought.
All individuals in the Bachu Kiro Caves have Neanderthal ancestors five to seven generations before life, indicating that the mixture [mixing] Among these early humans in Europe a Neanderthal was a common occurrence. ”
Previous evidence of early mixing of humans and Neanderthals in Europe came from a single individual called Oase 1, dating back 40,000 years, and found in Romania.
“So far, we cannot rule out that this was a discovery by chance,” Hajdengak said.
The results were accompanied by separate research published Wednesday in the journal Nature Ecology has evolved Involving genome sequencing of skull samples found in the Czech Republic.
The skull was found in the Zlate-Kuhn in 1950, but its age has been the subject of debate and conflicting results in the decades that followed.
Initial analysis suggested that it was more than 30,000 years old, but radiocarbon dating gave an age closer to 15,000 years.
Genetic analysis now appears to have solved the problem, indicating that the age is at least 45,000 years old, said Kay Brover of the Max Planck Institute’s archaeological genetics department, who led the research.
“We use the fact that everyone who traces their ancestors to individuals who left Africa more than 50,000 years ago have a Neanderthal origin in their genomes,” he told France Press.
These traces of Neanderthals appear in short clumps in the modern human genome, and increasingly lengthen later in human history.
“In the elderly, such as a 45,000-year-old Ust Ishim man from Siberia, these lumps are much longer,” Brover said.
We found that the genome of the female Coon Zlaty had longer clumps than that of the male Ust’-Ishim. This makes us confident that she lived at the same time, if not earlier.
Although it dates from roughly the same period as the Bacho Kiro remains, the Zlaty kun skull does not share genetic links with modern Asian or European populations.
Brover now hopes to study how the populations that produced the two sets of remains are related.
“We do not know who were the first Europeans who ventured into an unknown land,” he said.
“By analyzing their genomes, we discover a part of our history that was lost in time.”