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Image: Sima de los Huesos peopleJavier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films – The Sima de los Huesos people lived about 400,000 years ago in Spain.

The oldest human DNA ever recovered is throwing scientists for a loop: The 400,000-year-old genetic material comes from bones that have been linked to Neanderthals in Spain — but its signature is most similar to that of a different ancient human population from Siberia, known as the Denisovans.

The researchers who did the analysis said their findings show an “unexpected link” between two of our extinct cousin species. Follow-up studies could crack the mystery — not only for the early humans who lived in the cave complex known as Sima de los Huesos (Spanish for “Pit of Bones”), but for other mysterious populations in the Pleistocene epoch.

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/400-000-year-old-human-dna-adds-new-tangle-our-2D11690925

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