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Thread: Skull from Salkhit, Mongolia

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuaMan View Post
    On a tangential note, I was browsing through Wikipedia's list of hominin fossil remains not too long ago and noticed quite a few Neanderthal specimens from the Middle East and Central Asia that I hadn't previously known about from the tail end of the Middle Paleolithic and into the Upper. I think last year, archaeologists actually discovered even more Neanderthal remains from the famous Shanidar cave in Iraq. I don't have a reference handy, but I swear I've read before in previous papers that the more recently dated Middle Eastern Neanderthals tend to show more "derived" features relative to older specimens. Given the time and place, I have no doubt the change in morphology is due to breeding with modern human people in Southwest Asia between 50,000-100,000 years ago. It would be great if we could sequence the genome of any Neanderthal, Denisovan, or other "archaic" hominin we find from across Eurasia and see if we can find a hybrid archaic/modern human like the Neanderthal/Denisovan hybrid that was announced last year. There's naturally a small, finite number of any hominin remains out there to excavate, geneticists should be as thorough as possible in trying to extract data from any sample they come across, even the most archaic looking ones might be more relevant to contemporary people than we might initially think.
    A UK team is currently excavating new remains from Shanidar as we speak, with the Peshmerga running protection for them. It looks like they plan on getting DNA.

    The tentative dating is 60kya-90kya, which is probably early enough for Basal Eurasians to be up around the Zagros, but too early for Crown Eurasians (assuming the single dispersal along the "southern coastal route" is accurate). I'd be very surprised if these Shanidar Neanderthals lacked homo sapiens ancestry...

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by K33 View Post
    Where does it say this, in the Russian language link (I can't read russian)? Because I don't see it in the English language link...
    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea...o-am012919.php

    DNA analyses were also performed on the hominin bones by Professor Svante Pääbo's team at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Diyendo Massiliani and colleagues reconstructed the complete mitochondrial genome of the specimen. It falls within a group of modern human mtDNAs (haplogroup N) that is widespread in Eurasia today, confirming the view of some researchers that the cranium is indeed a modern human. Further nuclear DNA work is underway to shed further light on the genetics of the cranium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TuaMan View Post
    Given the time and place, I have no doubt the change in morphology is due to breeding with modern human people in Southwest Asia between 50,000-100,000 years ago. It would be great if we could sequence the genome of any Neanderthal, Denisovan, or other "archaic" hominin we find from across Eurasia and see if we can find a hybrid archaic/modern human like the Neanderthal/Denisovan hybrid that was announced last year.
    Wait-wait-wait... Until now we even have no Denisovan skeleton, just a few teeth and a bone from a finger. But I guess we will have in a few years as too much people are working on it.
    Last edited by artemv; 03-05-2019 at 10:29 AM.

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    I guess its now time to continue our discussion, as far as we got some new information now.

    https://www.eshe.eu/static/eshe/file...nlinePESHE.pdf

    In recent years, the sequencing of many ancient early modern human genomes from West Eurasia has provided insights into the human population history in Europe [1]. In contrast, only four genomes from early modern humans in Siberia and one in East Asia have been generated, which limits our grasp of the genetic history of early East Eurasians [1]. Here, we present the genomic analyses of a hominin skull cap discovered in 2006 during mining operations in the Salkhit Valley, Northeastern Mongolia [2]. To our knowledge, the specimen remains the only Pleistocene hominin found so far in the country. Discovered outside any archeological context, the age and the ancestry of the specimen have been debated since its discovery and the presence of peculiar morphological features has led to potential affiliation to archaic hominin groups [3], [4]. We used a compound-specific radiocarbon dating approach to determine the age of the Salkhit individual to 34,950 - 33,900 Cal. BP (at 95% probability), placing the specimen in the Mongolian Early Upper Paleolithic period. We also determined its complete mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) and showed that it belongs to the modern human haplogroup N which is widespread in Eurasia today [5]. Nuclear analyses of the specimen show that the Salkhit individual was a female modern human. To investigate her relatedness to archaic hominin and ancient and present day modern humans, we used hybridization capture of 3.9 million single nucleotide polymorphisms across the nuclear genome. We use f3 and D statistics to show that she was closely related to the 40,000-year-old Tianyuan individual from China but shares more alleles with Western and North-Eastern Eurasians than does the Tianyuan individual. Using an admixture graph, the Salkhit individualis positioned as an ancient East Asian with some genetic contribution from West Eurasian. This scenario underlies an unexpected genetic link between East and West Eurasians after their major split. Using a new method to identify archaic introgressed DNA in ancient genome data, we estimate Neandertal ancestry in the Salkhit individual to∼2%, and show that this ancestry is contained in longer DNA tracks than those of present-day Eurasians – as expected given the age of the specimen. We also show that approximately 0.2-0.3% of the Salkhit genome is derived from Denisovans and identified longer tracts (>0.2 cM) of Denisovan ancestry in the Salkhit and other ancient East Eurasians genomes than in present-day East Eurasians genomes. This is the first evidence of Denisovan ancestry in Upper Pleistocene modern humans in East Eurasia. It is in sharp contrast to West Eurasia where we found no evidence for Denisovan introgression at the same resolution in early or later modern humans. The genome of the Salkhit individual provides further evidence for a complex population history of Pleistocene modern humans across Eurasia involving population substructure, migration and admixture. Those results emphasize the mosaic of events that shaped the genetic landscape of modern human since the Upper Pleistocene.
    Strange results.
    If there is no mistake like contamination with modern DNA e.t.c., this means that there could be AMHs with very little archaic ancestry and some morphological traits we thought were definitely archaic. Probably, this also means, a group of other skulls currently classified as archaic are indeed of AMHs from early Upper Paleolith.

    Checked again how the Salkhit skull looks like, it definitely doesn't look like a skull of an AMH. Hope they will at least find the genes that make AMH's skull to look like that.

    Similarity to Tianyuan man given time and location looks reasonable, but form of the skull is definitely a problem.
    Last edited by artemv; 09-10-2019 at 01:34 PM. Reason: fixed the link

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    Quote Originally Posted by artemv View Post
    I guess its now time to continue our discussion, as far as we got some new information now.
    https://www.eshe.eu/static/eshe/file...nlinePESHE.pdf
    The link got cut there, can you repost?
    Collection of 14,000 d-stats: Hidden Content Part 2: Hidden Content Part 3: Hidden Content PM me for d-stats, qpadm, qpgraph, or f3-outgroup nmonte models.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kale View Post
    The link got cut there, can you repost?
    https://www.eshe.eu/static/eshe/file...nlinePESHE.pdf

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    The Tianyuan specimen, to which the Salkhit specimen is supposedly "closely related," is itself morphologically quite ambiguous.

    Ancient ‘Tianyuan man’ is full-fledged Homo sapiens

    Ann Gibbons | Science | October 17, 2017

    When scientists excavated a 40,000-year-old skeleton in China in 2003, they thought they had discovered the offspring of a Neandertal and a modern human. But ancient DNA now reveals that the “Tianyuan Man” has only traces of Neandertal DNA and none detectable from another type of extinct human known as a Denisovan. Instead, he was a full-fledged member of our species, Homo sapiens, and a distant relative of people who today live in East Asia and South America. The work could help scientists retrace some of the earliest steps of human migration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by artemv View Post

    Checked again how the Salkhit skull looks like, it definitely doesn't look like a skull of an AMH....
    It is just a skulll cap. In ordinary language her brow ridge was too think for an AMH but not completely out of range.
    Even before the DNA result came out there were some who guessed she was AMH from other features.
    Likewise for Tianyuan. He was generally gracile and his archaic features are present in some dental ratios and other technical areas. Ordinary men will not see any striking resemblance to archaic hominids.
    If many of the AMH features are selected, that means they involve relatively few genes and some of selective sweeps that western AMH's went through may have bypassed their Eastern cousins.
    This will explain why they are AMH genetically but retain some archaic features.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ybmpark View Post
    It is just a skulll cap. In ordinary language her brow ridge was too think for an AMH but not completely out of range.
    Even before the DNA result came out there were some who guessed she was AMH from other features.
    Likewise for Tianyuan. He was generally gracile and his archaic features are present in some dental ratios and other technical areas. Ordinary men will not see any striking resemblance to archaic hominids.
    If many of the AMH features are selected, that means they involve relatively few genes and some of selective sweeps that western AMH's went through may have bypassed their Eastern cousins.
    This will explain why they are AMH genetically but retain some archaic features.
    Brow ridge is the first thing we usually notice. But it is only one of the features, and not the most important one.
    Look at her forehead and compare it to a regilar AMH forehead. You will see, that forehead goes almost vertically up from the brow ridge - because the frontal lobe of AMH's brain is greater than frontal lobe of any other hominid. In Salkhit skull cap the bone goes back right after the brow ridge, there is almost no forehead and significantly less space for the frontal lobe.
    You cannot say about frontal lobe size "it just some archaic feature in a technical area".

    People started speaking about Salkhit skull cap as belonging to an AMH not because of the skull cap shape itself, but because of late C14 dates and because of results of Tianyuan - closest sample to Salkhit in time and space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by artemv View Post
    Brow ridge is the first thing we usually notice....
    "Based on the published photographs, Kaifu and Fujita8 suggested that the Salkhit specimen belongs to a terminal Pleistocene modern human. Additional comparisons with Middle and Late Pleistocene hominin fossils from northeast Asia (Zhoukoudian Locality 1, Dali, and Zhoukoudian Upper Cave) concluded that the peculiar features of the Salkhit skull are more likely to be regionally predominant modern human features than diagnostic features of an archaic species9,10."

    It is like shovel shaped incisor, superficial similarity with Neanderthals but without any direct connection. Even before any DNA result came out it was well known in the circle that she was AMH.
    The typical Cromagnoid skull shapes are a kind of idealized form and even European samples of the same era don't always display the same features.
    The angle of forehead in addition to being an AMH feature has something to do with climate.
    Among modern races, subsaharan Africans have the highest angle. Don't argue with me here. It is welll know in anthropology.
    Asians have the sloppest heads and Whites are somewhere between.
    Even within the same race northern people have sloppier foreheads(ie Nordic vs Mediterranian).
    There used to nasty jokes about British nobility having sloppy foreheads and receding chins compared to the native Britons.
    Mongols have sloppy heads while SE Asians are similar to Caucasoids.
    Even Oceanians ,who have generally more archaic features, often have more straight foreheads compared with Northern East Asians.

    "... dental features and some technical areas ..." was in reference to Tianyuan man. Salkhit did not have much to analyze to begin with.
    Tianyuan is considered "moderately gracile". He does not look overtly archaic at all.

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