Scientists from the genetic laboratory of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Humanity in Germany have reconstructed the oldest European genome.
For the study, the material was taken from a skull about 45 thousand years old, found in the town of Zlata Kun in the Czech Republic. It belonged to a woman.
It turned out that the genome from Zlata Kun contains about the same amount of Neanderthal DNA as in other modern people, about 2-3%, but the segments of Neanderthal genes in it are much longer than in everyone else.
According to the authors of the work, the DNA of this woman is not found in people who later lived in Europe or Asia. This suggests that modern people met in Southeast Europe as early as 47–43 thousand years ago.
Interestingly, the earliest modern humans in Europe ultimately did not succeed. As in the case of the Ust-Ishim man or the oldest European find – the skull from Peshtera-cu-Oase in Romania, the man from Zlata Kun does not demonstrate genetic continuity with modern people who lived in Europe later, after 40 thousand years ago.
Johannes Krause, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
The authors cite the Campanian ignimbrite eruption that occurred 40-39 thousand years ago, which strongly influenced the climate in the Northern Hemisphere, as one of the possible explanations for the gap in the two waves of the population of Europe by sapiens.