Fossils of Indonesian Women Could Change Early Human History


Genetic traces in the body of a young woman who died 7,000 years ago provide the first clues that mixing between early humans in Indonesia and those from Siberia occurred much earlier than previously thought.

Analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or genetic fingerprints from a woman at a ritual burial in an Indonesian cave has contributed to changing theories about early human migration in Asia. The research was published in the scientific journal Nature in August.

"It is possible that the Wallacea region could be the meeting point of two human species, between the Denisovans and early homo sapiens," said Basran Burhan, an archaeologist at Australia's Griffith University.

Burhan, one of the scientists who took part in the study, referred to the Indonesian region that includes South Sulawesi, where the body with stones in its hands and pelvis was found in the Leang Pannige cave complex.

The Denisovans are a group of ancient humans named after a cave in Siberia where their remains were first identified in 2010. Scientists know little about them, even the details of their appearance.

DNA from Besse, as researchers call a young woman in Indonesia (derived from the term for a newborn girl in the Bugis language), is one of the few well-preserved specimens found in the tropics.

Scientists say this suggests he descended from the Austronesian peoples common in Southeast Asia and Oceania, and to a lesser extent Denisovans.

"Genetic analysis shows that these pre-Neolithic explorers represented a distinct, previously unknown human lineage," they said.

Because scientists until now thought North Asians like the Denisovans only arrived in Southeast Asia about 3,500 years ago, Besse's DNA changes theories about early human migration patterns.

The discovery could also reveal insights into the origins of Papuans and indigenous Australians with Denisovan DNA.

"Theories about migration will change, theories about race will change," said Iwan Sumantri, a lecturer at Hasanuddin University in South Sulawesi, who was also involved in the research project.

He added that Besse's remains revealed the first sign of Denisovans among the Austronesians, who are the oldest ethnic group in Indonesia.

"Now try to imagine how they propagate and distribute their genes to reach Indonesia," said Sumantri.

Fossils of Indonesian Women Could Change Early Human History Fossils of Indonesian Women Could Change Early Human History Reviewed by thecekodok on 8:28:00 PM Rating: 5
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