What may be the oldest fragments of the modern human genome found yet have now been revealed — DNA from the 7,000-year-old bones of two cavemen unearthed in Spain, researchers say.
These findings suggest the cavemen there were not the ancestors of the people found in the region today, investigators added.
Until about 8500 years ago, Europe was populated by nomadic hunter-gatherers who hunted, fished, and ate wild plants. Then, the farming way of life swept into the continent from its origins in the Near East, including modern-day Turkey. Within 3000 years most of the hunter-gatherers had disappeared. Little is known about these early Europeans. But a new genetic analysis of two 8000-year-old skeletons from Spain suggests that they might have been a remarkably cohesive population both genetically and culturally—a conclusion that other researchers find intriguing but possibly premature.