Fleshing out the details of ancient humanity has typically begun with fossil finds and then, years later, sequencing genes and genomes. That was the case for Neanderthals, but now the reverse has happened for the Denisovans.
A new paper in Nature describes a partial upper jawbone from a Denisovan who lived 160,000 years ago. It was discovered quite far from the known home of these archaic humans in Siberia, in Baishiya Karst Cave in Xiahe, China, on the Tibetan Plateau.
The partial jawbone is the oldest human fossil from the area. It's existence indicates that ancestors of today's Sherpa from 10,000 or so years ago weren't the first to be able to survive at high-altitude, low-oxygen environments, as had been thought.
To continue reading go to DNA Science, where this post first appeared.