Denisovan tooth

Robert Clark/National Geographic Image Collection

Next year, we will start to learn what a host of ancient animal and early human remains really are, thanks to new techniques for identifying even fragmentary pieces.

Over the past decade, DNA analysis has overturned our ideas of human evolution. It has revealed that humans interbred with Neanderthals, and unveiled a hitherto-unknown group called Denisovans.

“Enamel in teeth could help us identify mystery remains and put together a family tree for early humans”

But it has limits. The DNA in remains doesn’t survive long when conditions are hot or wet, so …

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