Denisova 3

Denisova Cave
Specimen number:
Denisova 3
51.39, 84.67
Date min:
51,600 Bp
Date max:
76,200 Bp
Homo, Homo denisovans
Time periods:
Chibanian, Pleistocene
Denisova Phalanx distalis (Denisova 3)

Denisova Phalanx distalis (Denisova 3)

Denisova 3 is a distal manual phalanx discovered in layer 11.2 in Denisova Cave’s East Chamber. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) extracted from Denisova 3 revealed that it is a member of the Denisovans, a previously unknown group of archaic hominins [1][2].


Denisova 3 was discovered in 2008 by Russian researchers led by Michael Shunkov in layer 11.2 of the East Chamber of Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains. It was a distal manual phalanx of a female juvenile hominin’s fifth digit dated to 51.6–76.2 ka. Layer 11 contained microblades and polished stone ornaments typical of the Upper Palaeolithic industry, as well as stone tools more typical of the earlier Middle Palaeolithic, such as side-scrapers and Levallois blanks [1][2][3][4][5][6]

Interestingly, Denisova 3’s mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) did not match that of Neanderthals or modern humans. Instead, its high-coverage nuclear genome revealed that its ancestors diverged from a common ancestor with the Neanderthals between 440 and 390 thousand years ago, making it the first evidence of an unknown group of archaic humans named the “Denisovans” [1][2][7].


Cited References

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  6. 6.

    A Paleolithic Bracelet from Denisova Cave

    Archaeology Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 34(2)

  7. 7.

This page was last edited on November 10, 2022 at 14:23:10 UTC