Representative image. | Courtesy of Scinews
The fact that modern humans or Homo sapiens were involved in the intersection with very close species has become well established. It has also been discovered that modern humans mingled with Neanderthals and Denisovers – two archaic human species that no longer exist in this world. However, their presence is still anchored in the DNAs of modern humans. Humans still have 2% of Neanderthal genes in their DNA.
A recent study published in PNAS now states that modern humans mingle with two other extinct early human species. Joao Teixeira of the University of Adelaide, Australia, and principal author of the paper PNAS said, "Each of us carries within us the genetic traces of these past mixed events. These archaic groups were widespread and genetically diverse and survive in each of us. Her story is an integral part of our creation.
When modern humans emerged in Africa and began to migrate, they spread throughout Eurasia. What they found there was that Eurasia was already occupied by older hominins like Neanderthals and Denisovans. On their journey outside of Africa, modern humans have often mixed with these archaic species. The 2% Neanderthal genes in modern human DNA indicate that the mixing of Neanderthals with modern humans took place shortly after their emigration from Africa. These events probably occurred 50,000 to 55,000 years ago in the Middle East.
Also read: The Prehistoric Cave Wife was a descendant of two different types of archaic humans.
Modern humans continued to move east and also landed on the southeastern islands of Asia. Here they seem to have found more hominin species. "At least three other archaic groups of people seem to have occupied the area, and the ancestors of modern humans mingled with them before the archaic people died out," Teixeira said. One of these groups was the Denisovans, but the other two are still difficult to grasp.
The two unknown hominin species were designated EH1
It is fading now, but the genetic signals can still be detected in the DNA of the Australian Aborigines, the East Asians, and the Andaman Islands. This led to a very interesting discovery that the EH1 hominins most likely occupied a region in northern India. Here, a group of modern humans, the branch that traveled to Asia, Australia and the Papua Islands, met the EH1 (in the map under branch 1).
The mixing events occurring in East Asia with the Denisovans, Sunda Shelf and Philippines can be traced on branches 2, 3 and 4 in the following map.
] However, the second extinct hominin species, the EH2, fused with modern humans in Flores, is less discovered clearly occupied. The branch 5 in the above map means this.
Other findings in this line reveal a very complicated and confused human story. "We knew the story from Africa was not easy, but it seems to be far more complex than we imagined. The Southeast Asian island region was clearly occupied by several archaic human groups, probably hundreds of thousands of years apart in relative isolation, before the ancestors of modern humans arrived, "said Texeira.