Tam Pà Ling Cave

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Recently, a team of researchers have been excavating at Tam Pà Ling caves for many years, and found more and more evidence of Homo sapiens of earlier times.

Key findings:


  • It revealed that humans were present in the vicinity of Tam Pà Ling Cave for roughly 56,000 years.
  • It also confirmed that, far from reflecting a rapid dump of sediments, the site contains sediments that accumulated steadily over some 86,000 years.
  • The age of the lowest fossil, a fragment of a leg bone found seven metres deep, suggests modern humans arrived in this region between 86,000 and 68,000 years ago.
  • Even researchers found a tooth some 150,000 years old belonging to a Denisovan.
  • This suggests the site may lie on a previously used dispersal route among hominins.


Key Facts about Tam Pà Ling Cave

  • It is a sloping cave situated high in the Annamite mountain range in Northern Laos. 
  • The stratigraphy of the site indicates formation by periodic slopewash deposition from the muddy slope at the entrance of the cave.


Who are Denisovans?

  • They are extinct human relatives otherwise known only from remains found in Siberia and Tibet.
  • They lived lakhs of years ago, coexisting with Neanderthals in some regions, and interbreeding with early modern humans in some cases. 
  • They were first identified as a separate species in 2010, following the discovery of a fragment of a finger bone and two teeth, dating back to about 40,000 years ago, in the Denisovan Cave in Siberia.


Q1) Who are Neandertals?

Neandertals were a group of archaic humans who lived in Eurasia between approximately 400,000 and 40,000 years ago. They are named after the Neander Valley in Germany, where the first Neanderthal remains were discovered in 1856 and are considered a distinct species within the Homo genus.

Source: When did humans first arrive in Southeast Asia?