A Neanderthal bone was recovered, which proved the existence of a tribe already extinct in Africa. The femur, discovered in Germany, proves that the migration began quite early, as already mentioned, and proves the interaction of this tribe with other populations of hominids.
The team of scientists from the Institute of Science and Human History and the University of Tübingen in Germany, led by Max Planck, used DNA from the mitochondria of the Femur found, to determine their relationship to other Neanderthals and modern humans.
Mitochondria contain a set of genes separate from the DNA present in their nucleus, and since mitochondrial DNA varies quite predictably, we are able to map and measure their mutations and reach the conclusion that the two populations shared the mutations. The analysis concluded that these last crossed about 400 000 years ago, which contradicts the previous studies that put that moment 800 000 years ago.
Our Denisovans relatives also separated from a group of Neanderthals about 450,000 years ago, and their nuclear DNA is very close to that of the Neanderthals, which makes sense since they are probably derived from them.
Our ancestors, left Africa about 50 000 year ago, and scattered around the world, and an analysis of the DNA of modern humans without an African lineage, revealed that we have genes that existed in the Neanderthals and Denisovans, suggesting that before we follow different paths, there was some direct interaction.
This new specimen was dated through mitochondrial DNA, and is estimated to be about 124 000 years old, but the most curious is that according to the analysis, this Neanderthal was not part of any of the groups of Neandertals studied so far, instead comes from a lineage that dates back 220 000 years.
This proves that the modern human being interacted early with the Neanderthals, and that these were also more diverse than previously thought.