Thursday, February 9, 2023
Mitochondrial Health

Living on the Edge: Neanderthals and Their Relatives in Central Asia



Presented by Bence Viola, University of Toronto, on February 3, 2022.

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Central Asia and Siberia have long played a limited role in discussions of modern human origins. These areas were seen as peripheral to our story, which was thought to have taken place mostly in Africa, Europe, and Eastern Asia. Over the last few years, new research in Central Asia yielded evidence that this region was not the periphery. Different hominin groups interacted in the area, including early modern humans, Neanderthals, and the enigmatic Denisovans—a group only known from a few fragmentary fossils and their DNA. Through the combination of ancient DNA, and archaeological and morphological data, we can look at the dynamics of these populations, and explore these contacts. In this talk, Dr. Viola presents some of the recent advances in our understanding of how these groups interacted, both biologically and culturally.

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