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The oldest Neanderthal DNA of Central-Eastern Europe

An 80,000-year-old Neanderthal reveals cultural and genetic affinities between Poland and the Northern Caucasus

A new study by an international team reports the oldest mitochondrial genome of a Neanderthal from Central-Eastern Europe. The mitochondrial genome of the tooth, discovered at the site of Stajnia Cave in Poland, is closer to a Neanderthal specimen from the Caucasus than to the contemporaneous Neanderthals of Western Europe. Stone tools found at the site are also analogous to the southern regions suggesting that Neanderthals living in the steppe/taiga environment had a broader foraging radius than previously envisaged. The Prut and Dniester rivers were probably used as the main corridors of dispersal from Poland to the Caucasus.

© Marcin Żarski