Denisova 5

Denisova Cave
Specimen number:
Denisova 5
51.39, 84.67
Date min:
90,900 Bp
Date max:
130,000 Bp
Homo, Homo neanderthalensis
Time periods:
Calabrian, Pleistocene
Denisova Neandertal Toe (Denisova 5)

Denisova Neandertal Toe (Denisova 5)

Denisova 5 is a proximal toe phalanx of a Neanderthal woman, also known as the Altai Neanderthal, was discovered in layer 11.4 of the East Chamber of Denisova Cave in Siberia [1][2].


Denisova Cave is famous for the discovery of the Denisovans, a sister group of Neanderthals that were identified through a nuclear genome sequence from a finger phalanx (Denisova 3) [3]. In 2010, continued archaeological work in Denisova Cave resulted in the discovery of a toe phalanx in layer 11.4 of the East Chamber [1][2]. The left proximal phalanx is derived from the fourth or fifth toe of an adult female and has been dated to 90.9–130.0 ka [4][5]. It is long and has a very robust and broad diaphysis. It also exhibits characteristics that are intermediate between the Neanderthal and the early modern morphology. The dorso-proximal orientation of the metatarsal facet of the base suggests a unique gait, similar to race walking [1]

The genome sequence of Denisova 5 reveals that it is from a Neanderthal. This indicates that at least two distinct human groups, Neanderthals and Denisovans, inhabited Denisova cave and throughout Eurasia. Furthermore, it also reveals that her parents were as closely related as half-siblings, inferring that mating among close relatives was common among her recent ancestors [2][3].


Cited References

  1. 1.

    A proximal pedal phalanx of a Paleolithic hominin from denisova cave, Altai

    Archaeology Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 39(1)

  2. 2.

  3. 3.

    Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences from two Denisovan individuals

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(51)

  4. 4.

  5. 5.

This page was last edited on November 10, 2022 at 14:23:53 UTC