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Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology focuses on matters regarding the origins of humankind. The Institute’s researchers study widely-differing aspects of human evolution. They analyse the genes, cultures and cognitive abilities of people living today and compare them with those of apes and extinct peoples. Scientists from various disciplines work closely together at the Institute: Geneticists trace the genetic make-up of extinct species, such as Neanderthals. Behaviourists and ecologists, for their part, study the behaviour of apes and other mammals.

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Collection of sediment DNA samples in the Main Chamber of Denisova Cave. Bert Roberts

Dirty secrets: sediment DNA reveals a 300,000-year timeline of ancient and modern humans living in Siberia

Our research has also uncovered major long-term changes in ancient animal populations at Denisova Cave, and has provided the first direct evidence of Homo sapiens having lived there.

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