Eight New Types Of Ancient Human Discovered, Researchers Claim

Shutterstock/Ancient Humans

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

A study published in early March identified at least eight new groups of ancient humans that lived through earth’s most recent Ice Age.

Researchers used the genomes of 357 ancient European humans who existed between 5,000 and 35,000 years ago to assess which ancestry profiles survived through the Last Glacial Maximum (25,000 t0 19,000 years ago), according to the study published March 1 in Nature. The analysis revealed eight distinct tribal groups who are believed to have existed in Europe and were developed enough to survive through the Ice Age.

Each of the groups were given a unique name, such as the “Gravettian,” “Fournol” and “Vestonice,” all of which were identified by their unique DNA structures. Within the Gravettian culture, individuals were found to not necessarily be biologically homogenous, but had a shared culture identified through weaponry, artwork, and tradition, the authors noted.

It was found that roughly 14,000 years ago there was large-scale genetic turnover in western Europe. This came around the Bolling-Allerod warming period, shortly before the sudden “mini Ice Age” of the Younger Dryas.

During this period, the global climate shifted suddenly and dramatically from hot to cold across the globe, as identified through proxy data in scientific research. (RELATED: Netflix Documentary Could Rewrite All Of Human History)

The discovery contributes significantly to our understanding of how ancient human cultures developed and spread through Europe, as well as confirming that the planet went through a dramatic shift in fauna during earth’s last major climate shifts — so large, that it fundamentally changed the way humans exist on the planet today.

If it weren’t for the devastating climatological impacts of this moment in history, there is every chance the human species would look quite different today. It’s unclear how many species of people, animals, plant life, were destroyed during this period, and how far our species had developed prior to this destruction. Many of the answers to these questions are long lost to history, and the power of the planet.