Denisovan DNA was first detected in 2010. Since then, questions have multiplied and mysteries have deepened. Who were these people? What were they like? To what extent do they fit in with our story of human evolution?
On the contrary, could the evidential trail left by the Denisovans rewrite parts of the story we have written?
Our featured Author of the Month for July is Andrew Collins, whose book The Cygnus Key surveys prehistory and crosses disciplines in quest for answers to these challenging questions.
“Collins takes us on a convincing journey following the lore of the constellation of Cygnus. From Göbekli Tepe to the pyramids of Egypt and the archaic myths of Greece, we are led to humanity’s ultimate psycho-spiritual roots in the Paleolithic world of Russian Siberia and the realm of the Denisovans. A triumph.”
– Caroline Wise, editor of Finding Elen: The Quest for Elen of the Ways
One of the biggest questions in the ancient mysteries subject right now is how did civilization begin, and was it gifted to humanity in some manner? We think of Puma Punku in Bolivia, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Moai statues of Easter Island, and the Great Platform of Baalbek in Lebanon. Where did the advanced technology to build these monuments come from? Who exactly was behind their construction?
Two popular theories seem to provide answers. One is that civilization arose as a result of the survivors of sunken Atlantis reaching foreign shores, bringing with them remnants of their high technology. The result of this influx of new ideas was the rise of great civilizations on both sides of the Atlantic. This was the proposal originally of Ignatius Donnelly in his classic work Atlantis: The Antediluvian World (1882).i A second solution is that the greatest civilizations on earth arose through either direct or indirect intervention from aliens, the premise of Erich von Däniken’s global bestseller Chariots of the Gods (1968),ii which remains influential today.
Aside from these two theories, the alternative has been to assume that civilization began as a result of the independent invention of advanced human behavior during the Upper Palaeolithic age, circa 45,000-9600 BCE. These advancements led, finally, to the Neolithic revolution in Anatolia and the Near East around 10,500 years ago, and thereafter the rise of great civilizations such as Sumer, Egypt, China, and that of the Indus Valley. This, of course, is the currently held view of archaeologists and prehistorians alike.
Yet today we are presented with a fourth alternative, which is that civilization was gifted to us by an advanced human society that had developed an increased level of human behavior even before the majority of our ancestors had made their departure from Africa around 45,000-55,000 years ago.
It was the discovery in 2008 of a finger phalanx of an archaic human found in the Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia that changed everything we know about the origins of our past. Although human-like in appearance, and deriving from a young female, the sequencing of the individual’s genome by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany in 2010 showed that it belonged to an extinct type of hominin.iii This previously unknown human population soon became known as the Denisovans, after the cave in which the finger bone was found.
Since that time, the Denisova Cave (named after a hermit called Denis who lived there in the eighteenth century) has produced further evidence of the presence of Denisovan occupants between 100,000 years and 40,000 years ago. This has come from the discovery of three molars, two from adults and one from an adolescent.
All are extremely robust, suggesting that at least some Denisovans were of exceptional size and height. Indeed, evidence suggests that the Denisovans are related to an even earlier type of hominin known as Homo heidelbergensis, whose remains found in South Africa are regularly over 2.13 metres in height.iv Although no further remains of Denisovans have since been confirmed, various skulls found in China in particular have been linked with this extinct hominin.v In addition, the massive jawbone of a large individual found by fishermen in the Penghu Channel, 25 kilometers off the coast of Taiwan,vi is now being cited as possibly that of a Denisovan.vii This extraordinary mandible is around 200,000 years old. It is extremely robust with unusually large molars and premolars, very similar to those both of the Denisovan individuals found in the Denisova Cave, and the first ever Homo heidelbergensis jawbone found at Mauer, near Heidelberg, in Germany in 1907.
In addition to this, up to 5-6 percent Denisovan DNA has been traced in modern human populations from Central Asia in the west across to East Asia, South Asia, Melanesia and Australia in the east.viii It is present also among the Yi or Lolo peoples of China, Vietnam and Thailand, and the indigenous Sherpa populations of the Tibetan Plateau.ix Denisovan DNA is even present among the First Peoples of both North and South America,x opening up all sorts of possibilities concerning the migration of Denisovan hybrid groups into the Americas during the Upper Palaeolithic age, ca. 40,000-9,600 BCE (a matter explored by Dr Greg Little and the present author in the book Path of Souls, published in 2014).
Advanced Human Behavior
In addition to this, the floor level that has mostly produced evidence for the presence of Denisovan occupation in the Denisova Cave (Layer 11) has offered various tantalizing examples of advanced human behavior, including a beautifully polished arm bracelet made of bottle green chloritolite, a form of chlorite (see Fig. 2). This shows evidence of having been sawed, polished and, finally, drilled to create a hole through which a second object, perhaps a stone ring, could be hung from a cord (see Fig. 3).xi More incredibly, the hole displays characteristic signs of having been created at high speed, suggesting that the drill used for this purpose was of an advanced nature.xii Similar precision-made jewelry would not be seen again until the Pre-Pottery Neolithic world of Anatolia over 30,000 years later.
Archaeologists exploring the Denisovan layer at the Denisova Cave have also recovered a large number of small beads made using ostrich eggshell. These are a centimeter or less in diameter with centrally drilled holes.xiii They have also found an exquisite seven-centimeter long, polished needle that has an eyehole at one end for thread.xiv Most likely the needle, fashioned from the bone of a large bird, is the oldest of its kind anywhere in the world. Almost certainly it was used to make tailored clothing. More incredibly, equine DNA discovered in the same layer as the Denisovan remains has raised the question of whether or not horses were being domesticated, herded and even ridden as much as 40,000-50,000 years ago.xv
What is so important about these discoveries is that Russian archaeologists are now willing to accept that the chloritolite bracelet, bone needle and ostrich eggshell beads, all of which are between 40,000-70,000 years old, are the product not of anatomically modern humans, but of Denisovans.xvi Similar displays of advanced human behavior are not found in connection with our own modern human antecedents at this time. In other words, the Denisovans were perhaps riding around on horses, making tailored clothing that incorporated rows of small beads, and wearing exquisite jewelry when our own human ancestors were just beginning to wake up to their full potential in this world.
Innovations and Inventions
In the knowledge that Denisovans interbred with anatomically modern humans when our earliest ancestors passed through Central Asia and southern Siberia on route to eastern and southern Asia circa 55,000-45,000 years ago, what kind of impact did they have on human development? Both the Denisovans and their hybrid descendents will have moved among the earliest human settlements of the Upper Palaeolithic age, and this will have included those situated on the forest steppe of Central Mongolia, which lies east of the Altai Mountains and south of Lake Baikal, Siberia’s largest inland sea.
Earliest Ever Use of Pressure Flaking
Here at a site named Tolbor-15 located in the Ikh Tulberiin Gol (the Tolbor River) basin, a branch of the Selenga Gol (Selenga River), archaeologists have uncovered evidence of the earliest manifestation of the tool-making technique known as pressure flaking.xvii It comes from an occupational layer dating to the Middle Upper Palaeolithic, circa 30,000-20,000 BP.xviii
The importance of this discovery cannot be understated, for as prehistoric stone tool specialist Mikkal Sørensen makes clear, “pressure blade production” was “invented during the Upper Palaeolithic around 20,000 B.C. [actually at least 10,000 years earlier] in the [Central] Mongolian area” and was carried from Siberia via the Urals westward as “transmitted knowledge.”xix On its arrival in Eastern and Central Europe pressure flaking was, he tells us, adopted, eventually, by Swiderian-linked cultures such as the Kunda and Butovo sometime during the tenth or ninth millennium BCE.xx
As I argue elsewhere, Swiderian and Post-Swiderian groups might well have been responsible for carrying the pressure flaking technique from the Urals westwards to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic world of Göbekli Tepe.xxi That an understanding of this highly specialized type of stone tool technology, passed on only through instruction from teacher to pupil, should have originated at sites like Tolbor in the forest-steppe of Central Mongolia, south of Lake Baikal, is quite extraordinary. Was its emergence inspired originally by the presence across the region either of Denisovans or their direct descendents? Could there really have been contact between the Denisovans and the Upper Palaeolithic sites of the Altai region, Central Mongolia and even further west in the Ural Mountains, which form a natural border between Europe and central Asia? In addition to advanced stone tool technologies, what else might the Denisovans have contributed to modern human development in the Upper Paleolithic age?
Bone Flutes and Whistles
Amazingly, the answer to this last question could be the invention of music, for the archaeological layer at the Denisova Cave that has yielded anatomical evidence and cultural artefacts relating to the presence of Denisovans, circa 40,000-70,000 years ago, has also produced a bone object identified as a musical instrument.xxii Although seen in terms of a whistle,xxiii it could easily have formed part of a much larger flute. Indeed, Luidmila Lbova, a doctor of historical sciences at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the Novosibirsk State University in Siberia, describes this object and others of a similar appearance in the following, quite remarkable manner:
The notches and the cuttings, distinguishable technologically, have a clear geometrical rhythm of intervals and form various compositions of graphic lines… A sense of rhythm, counting, and abstraction, demonstrated through graphic marks, point to the generated area of elementary aesthetic perception of reality.xxiv
Very clearly we see here an understanding of both sound enhancement and aesthetic quality. Frustratingly, what type of bone the instrument found in the Denisova Cave is made of has not been made clear. Whatever the answer, the object’s existence is tantalizing evidence that the Denisovans used musical instruments as much as 40,000-70,000 years ago.
Luidmila Lbova has made a special study of the flutes and whistles found at Upper Palaeolithic sites in both southern Siberia and the Trans-Baikal.xxv She found that they were almost all fashioned from the long bones of birds.xxvi One particular fragment of a flute from an Upper Palaeolithic site at Khotyk in the Uda River basin, southeast of Lake Baikal, appears to be made from the long bone of a swan.xxvii It comes from a layer of archaeological activity that has produced radiocarbon dates in the range of 32,700 BP ± 1400 years down to 26,220 BP ± 550 years,xxviii which with the necessary recalibration suggests that the flute is around 30,000-35,000 years old. Another similar flute found at a second site on the Uda River named Kamenka-A is made from the long bone of a goose.xxix According to Lbova and her colleagues, the flute found at Khotyk “can confidently be considered the oldest musical instrument in the territory of Siberia,”xxx apart from the example found in the Denisova Cave, of course!
Symbols of Cosmic Creation
If all this is correct, it is a very exciting prospect as it implies that some of the earliest melodies played on a musical instrument in the Altai-Baikal region were connected not only with sites where Denisovan-human contact might have taken place, but also with the swan and goose, important symbols of cosmic creation and of the transmigration of the soul in various ancient cultures worldwide.xxxi
In Greek Hellenic tradition the swan was seen as the most musical of birds. It was the totem also of the Muses, Orpheus, and of his father Apollo, god of music and poetry. More poignantly, Greek myth records a strange ceremony conducted by the three giant sons of Boreas, the first “priests of Apollo,” each a full “six cubits” in height, in the precinct of an open-air temple in Hyperborea, the ancient name for the Altai region. This ritual attracted flocks of swans that joined the choral chant and sound of the harps.xxxii
Here we are reminded of the unique carvings of long-necked swans found at the Upper Paleolithic site of Mal’ta, located on a branch of the Angara River, west of Lake Baikal, in central southern Siberia. These are 24,000 years old and made of mammoth ivory (see Fig. 4). Four or five of the pendants found during excavations in 1956-7 had been deliberately oriented north-south. Russian paleoarchaeologist Antoliy Derevianko writes that this deliberate north-south directionality, along with the special attention paid to these avian pendants (another was found alongside a child burial), implies a connection not only with the annual north-south migration of swans and geese, but also with the universal idea that in death the human soul takes the form of a bird.xxxiii Derevianko says that the existence of these swan pendants constitutes a “significant first appearance of animism” in Siberia.xxxiv So here at Mal’ta was compelling evidence of our most distant ancestors’ belief that the human soul could transform itself into a swan (Latin cygnus) to achieve transmigration from this world to the next.
Swan Maiden Tradition
Belief in the Swan Maiden is a tradition rooted in the Siberian and Mongolian belief in swan ancestry, in which the progenitor of many tribes and clans is said to have been a shape-shifting swan maiden that descended from the sky world. Having descended to earth with other swan maidens and discarded her bird form to bathe in a pool or lake, she is forced to remain in this world after a mortal man, who subsequently becomes her husband and steals her feather garment. It is from their offspring that many Siberian and Mongolian populations are supposedly descended. Although such stories appear worldwide, it has been proposed that swan ancestry first emerged in either Northern Asia or Siberia during the Upper Palaeolithic age.xxxv Very likely the destination of the soul for the Mal’ta community was the northerly-placed “bird-land” or “bird-heaven” often featured in swan maiden legends.xxxvi
Was southern Siberia thus the point of origin of the veneration of the swan as a shamanic creature, symbolising divine inspiration attained through the use of musical instruments? Had the swan been an important totemic creature to the Denisovans, and did they themselves use musical instruments? Were they remembered in Greek legend as the three giant sons of Boreas, who would seem to have had control over swans through the use of musical instruments and choral chants?
The Mal’ta Plate
It was in the same millennia that swan animism makes its first confirmed appearance in southern Siberia that an unknown artist from the Mal’ta community carved a mammoth ivory plate, its upper surface covered with pecked spiral patterns. As proposed by Russian archaeologist Vitaliy Larichev (1932-2014), the number and arrangement of these spiral patterns (see Fig. 5) may well preserve calendrical information regarding precession, eclipse cycles, as well as a canicular period of 487 years (a third of the so-called Sothic cycle of ancient Egypt).xxxvii Moreover, the Mal’ta plate, along with an archaic calendar system used to this day by the shamanic peoples of the Altai region,xxxviii both display an acute knowledge of numeric systems based on key numbers such as 9, 12, 54, 72, 108, 216, 432. These we find within the cosmological myths and legends of cultures worldwide, a matter explored in detail by Graham Hancock in his books.xxxix
As I explain in The Cygnus Key, these numbers appear to derive from perceived synchronizations between the 54-year triple saros eclipse cycle and a knowledge of axial precession (see Fig. 6). Did this profound mathematical knowledge come originally from surviving Denisovans, or perhaps their hybrid descendents, who occupied the high plateaus and forest-steppe of the Altai-Baikal region when the Mal’ta settlement was in full flow some 24,000 years ago? Could some link be found between the Denisovans of the Altai Mountains and the earliest human societies over 1300 kilometers away in the region of Lake Baikal?
Long Distance Trading Links
One important clue comes from the ostrich-shell beads found in the Denisovan occupational layer (layer 11) of the Denisova Cave,xl which, if not worn on necklaces, probably adorned tailored clothing. Since there were no ostriches in the Altai Mountains, the raw material to make these beads must have come from elsewhere. Archaeologists believe that the most likely source was the Trans-Baikal region of Russia and central Mongolia, which lies to the east and south of Lake Baikal. Here ostriches were to be found 40,000-50,000 years ago.xli This has led to speculation that long distance trading existed between the Altai Mountains and the Trans-Baikal region as much as 40,000-50,000 years ago.xlii
Such trafficking almost certainly resulted in contact between Denisovans and modern human communities. It will also have led to the exchange of ideas, and, more importantly, to interbreeding and the subsequent emergence of hybrid communities. Although Denisovan DNA has not yet been recorded in connection with human remains found at Mal’ta, its inhabitants are likely to have benefitted from the knowledge passed down from earlier generations of Denisovans and Denisovan human-hybrids, who occupied the same region.
Did the profound knowledge of celestial time cycles contained in the spirals seen on the Mal’ta plate really derive from much earlier Denisovan sources? This is a real possibility since there is tantalizing evidence that the Denisovans possessed a quite different mindset to that of modern humans.
The clue lies in the Altai Denisovan genome. This has revealed some major divergences from that of the modern human genome, particularly in connection with brain function and brain connectivity. Among them are genes that relate very specifically to autism.xliii This does not mean that Denisovans were autistic in the modern sense, but that there is a good chance that their brains operated in a manner similar to that of an autistic person with a so-called “idiot savant” quality.
If correct, it might help explain how the Denisovans and their immediate descendents could have calculated celestial time cycles with ease, and how this information might have been passed down to early modern human societies like that at Mal’ta, near Lake Baikal. It also makes sense of why genes passed on by the Denisovans to modern human populations tells us that across tens of thousands of years the Denisovans developed the ability to exist both at very high altitudes, and also in extremely cold conditions. Since isolation is a common consequence of autism in today’s society, it is possible that the Denisovan’s savant-like minds forced them into virtual isolation in the epoch prior to their extinction.
Autism has long been linked with the roots of shamanism (see Fig. 7).xliv Now, a new study proposes that autistic genes generated by modern humans in harsh ice age conditions provided them with the mindset to leap ahead in everything from greater image retention abilities, to greater aptitudes in identifying and analysing patterns of geography and movement. According to the study’s authors—medical researcher Barry Wright and archaeologist Penny Spikins, both of the University of York—these qualities, found often in those on the autistic spectrum, enabled early modern humans to develop more efficient hunting tool kits, as well as to recall in absolute detail thousands of square miles of hunting terrain, and to remember and analyse patterns of animal behaviour.xlv All this might be so, but there is a chance that at least some of these skills were inherited from the Denisovans, who would appear to have developed genes giving them a very similar mindset at a much earlier date.
The Swan of Eternity
That the proposed Altai-Baikal calendrical system has been detected at the same settlement as that of the swan pendants indicates that the earliest manifestation of animism in Siberia also cannot be ignored. The suggestion that their manufacture and usage shows that the inhabitants of Mal’ta saw the transmigration of the soul as connected both with the annual north-south migration of birds and the soul’s transformation into a bird at death might be only half the story. Universally, the symbol of the swan has been associated not only with heavenly music and cosmic creation, but also with the passage of celestial time. For instance, the Hindu god Brahma performed the act of creation with the help of hamsa, a mythical being in the form of a swan or a goose.
Accounts of Brahma’s birth derived from early Sanskrit sources such as the Puranas, speak of him gestating in a golden egg (Brahmanda) laid by hamsa, through which the bird became known as kalahamsa, the ‘swan of eternity’, or ‘swan in space and time,’xlvi a fact showing the bird’s intimate link with cosmic time cycles like the so-called Day and Night of Brahma. It is a concept expressed perfectly in the words: “I am the Gander [hamsa]. I am the Lord [Brahma]. I bring forth the universe from my essence and I abide in the cycle of time that dissolves it.’xlvii Similar ideas are most likely behind the significance of the swan or goose as the bird of creation in Egyptian, Altaian, Native American, and even Northern European cosmological traditions.xlviii
It is my belief that the connection between the swan and cosmic time cycles existed at places like Mal’ta in southern Siberia as early as 24,000 years ago, and came originally from contact between early modern humans and surviving Denisovans. In my opinion, it was only their extraordinary minds, which I now suspect were savant-like in nature, that could have created the immensely complex celestial time cycles preserved to this day in cosmologies and architecture around the world. If correct, then this incredible knowledge must have been inherited by the earliest human societies to reach the Altai-Baikal region sometime around 50,000–40,000 years ago. Astronomically, this was a time of great significance.
The Denisovan Legacy
Around 45,000 years ago for a period of approximately 5000 years, the northern celestial pole, in its role as the turning point of the heavens, crossed through the northern opening of the Milky Way’s Dark Rift, which has been seen as an entrance to the sky world since the prehistoric age.xlix At this time, it entered just two constellations—Cepheus, circa 45,000–42,000 BCE, and Cygnus, circa 42,000–39,000 BCE. Together or individually these asterisms quite likely provided the earliest human communities with their first celestial time keepers and guardians of the cosmic axis, beyond which was the entrance to the sky world or Upper World of shamanic tradition. If correct, we have the true answer to why around the world the celestial swan (and goose) came to be viewed as a source of cosmic creation, and as a marker of cosmic time. It is also quite possibly why swan ancestry became a metaphor for the foundation of archaic human societies in Siberia and neighboring Mongolia, something that continues to be important today.
In my opinion, the first swan maiden was not simply a primeval swan mother or swan shamaness responsible for the birth of tribes and clans; she was the memory of a moment in time when some of the earliest human settlements in southern Siberia adopted cygnocentric (swan-related) and polarcentric (that is, polar related) cosmologies, with the 24,000-year-old Mal’ta swan pendants and spiral plate being prime examples of these ideas. Such beliefs and practices, I now suspect, relate to a perceived importance in the Cygnus constellation as a source of cosmic creation and cyclic time induced, at least in part, through the use of shamanic experiences and musical instruments, along with the employment of sound acoustics to achieve altered states of consciousness.
It is therefore feasible that the earliest cosmologies, as well as the gift of civilization itself, came not from Atlantis, ancient aliens, or the slow process of independent invention, but from the last of the Denisovans, who vanish from this world around 40,000 years ago. It is a theory that, although controversial, makes sense of what evidence we know about their legacy to humankind, and it is this that I present for the first time in The Cygnus Key.
Aelian. 1959. On the Characteristic of Animals, vol. 2 (books 6–9). Translated by A. F. Scholfield. Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library.
Blavatsky, H. P. 1888/1974. The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, 2 vols. Los Angeles, Ca.: Theosophical Company.
Chang, Chun-Hsiang, Yousuke Kaifu, Masanaru Takai, Reiko T. Kono, Rainer Grün, Shuji Matsu’ura, Les Kinsley & Liang-Kong Lin. 2015. The first archaic Homo from Taiwan. Nature Communications 6:6037, doi:10.1038/ncomms7037.
Choi, Charles Q. 2012. “Genome of Mysterious Extinct Human Reveals Brown-Eyed Girl.” LiveScience, August 30.
Clottes, J. (dir.). 2012. L’art pléistocène dans le monde / Pleistocene art of the world / Arte pleistoceno en el mundo Actes du Congrès IFRAO, Tarascon-sur-Ariège, septembre 2010 – Symposium « Datation et taphonomie de l’art pléistocène, LXV-LXVI, 2010–2011, CD and book. Tarascon-sur-Ariège, France: Société Préhistorique Ariège-Pyrénées.
Collins, Andrew. 2006. The Cygnus Mystery. London: Watkins Publishing.
———. 2014a. “The Coming of the Giants: Rise of the Human Hybrids,” In Little, 227–39. Also available here.
———. 2014b. Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods. Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions.
———. 2018. The Cygnus Key: The Denisovan Legacy, Göbekli Tepe, and the Birth of Egypt. Rochester, Vt.: Bear & Company.
Derevianko, A. P., and N.I. Drozdov. 2014. Topical Issues of the Asian Paleolithic. Proceedings of the International Symposium in Krasnoyarsk, July 6–12, 2012. Novosibirsk, Russia: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography Press.
Derevianko, A. P., M. V. Shunkov, and P. V. Volkov. 2008. “A Paleolithic Bracelet from Denisova Cave.” Archaeology Ethnology and Anthropology of Eurasia 34:2, 13–25.
Derev’anko, Anatoliy P., Demitri B. Shimkin, and W. Roger Powers (eds.). 1998. The Paleolithic of Siberia: New Discoveries And Interpretations. Translated by Inna P. Laricheva. Champaign, Ill.:University of Illinois.
Desrosiers, Pierre M. 2012. The Emergence of Pressure Blade Making: From Origin to Modern Experimentation. New York: Springer.
“DNA Deciphered of Horse Used by Extinct Humans.” 2013. Sputnik, July 31.
Donnelly, Ignatius. 1882. Atlantis the Antediluvian World. New York: Harper & Bros.
Estes, Roberta. 2013. “Native Americans, Neanderthal and Denisova Admixture DNA-Explained: Genetic Genealogy.” December 26.
“Genome of Horse Linked to Extinct Human Species Decoded in Russia.” 2013. UPI, July 31, 2013.
Gibbons, Ann. 2017. “Ancient skulls may belong to elusive humans called Denisovans,” Science (March 2, 2017).
Gladyshev, Sergei A., John W. Olsen, Andrei V. Tabarev, and Anthony J. T. Jull. 2012. “The Upper Paleolithic of Mongolia: Recent Finds and New Perspectives.” Quaternary International 281:36–46.
Hancock, Graham. Fingerprints of the Gods. 1995. London: Wm. Heinemann.
Hancock, Graham. Magicians of the Gods. 2015. New York: Coronet.
Hatto, A. T., “The Swan Maiden: A folk-tale of North Eurasian origin?” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 24 (1961), 326-52.
Hawks, John. 2015. “An archaic human from the bed of the Taiwan Strait,” john hawks weblog (January 27, 2915).
Hecataeus of Abdera. On the Hyperboreans. See Aelian.
Hoffecker, John F. and Scott A. Elias. 2012. Human Ecology of Beringia. New York: Columbia University Press.
Huerta-Sánchez, Emilia, et al. 2014. “Altitude Adaptation in Tibetans Caused by Introgression of Denisovan-like DNA.” Nature 512:7513 (August 14, 2014), 194–97.
Keys, David. 2018. “Prehistoric autism helped produce much of the world’s earliest great art, study says.” Independent (May 14, 2018).
Kulik, N.A. 2014. “Raw Materials for Prehistoric Tool Manufacturing as an Ecological Factor of the Altai Paleolithic.” In Derevianko and Drozdov, 99-108.
Kuzmin, Yaroslav V. 2009. “The Middle to Upper Paleolithic Transition in Siberia: Chronological and Environmental Aspects.” Eurasian Prehistory 5:2, 97–108.
Larichev, Vitaly. 1986. “Malta Plate from Mammoth Ivory.” In Russian. Novosibirsk, Russia: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
———. 1989. The Wisdom of Snakes: Primitive Man, Moon and Sun. In Russian. Novosibirsk, Russia: Nauka.
Lbova, Liudmila. 2010. “Evidence of Modern Human Behavior in the Baikal Zone during the Early Upper Paleolithic Period.” Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 30: 9–13.
———. 2012. “The Chronological Context of Pleistocene Art in Siberia.” In Clottes, CD-rom: CD, 198–99 and 1123–28
Lbova, Liudmila, Darya Kozhevnikov, and Pavel Volkov. 2012. “Musical Instruments in Siberia (Early Stage of the Upper Paleolithic).” In Clottes, CD-1900–1904.
Liesowska, Anna. 2017. “Stone Bracelet Is Oldest Ever Found in the World.” The Siberian Times, February 2.
Little, Dr. Greg. 2014. Path of Souls: The Native American Death Journey. With preface and afterward by Andrew Collins. Memphis, Tenn.: Eagle Wing.
“Mysterious ‘Red Deer’ Human Species Found In Chinese Cave…Denisovans?” 2017. Science Vibe (march 12, 2017).
Prüfer, Kay, et al. 2014. “The Complete Genome Sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains.” Nature 505 (January 2): 43–49.
Reich, David, et al. 2010a. “Genetic History of an Archaic Hominin Group from Denisova Cave in Siberia.” Nature 368:7327 (December 22): 1053–60.
———. 2010b. “Supplementary Information: Genetic History of an Archaic Hominin Group from Denisova Cave in Siberia.” Nature 368:7327 (December 22).
Reich, David, et al. 2011. “Denisova Admixture and the First Modern Human Dispersals into Southeast Asia and Oceania,” American Journal of Human Genetics 89:4 (October 7, 2011), 516–528.
Shodoev, Nikolai. 2012. Spiritual Wisdom from the Altai Mountains. Alresford, Hants., U.K.: John Hunt.
Sørensen, Mikkel. 2012. “The Arrival and Development of Pressure Blade Technology in Southern Scandinavia.” In Desrosiers, 237–59.
Von Däniken, Erich. 1968/1970. Chariots of the Gods. First English language edition. New York: G. P. Putnam.
Winkelman, Michael. 2002. “Shamanism and Cognitive Evolution,” Cambridge Archaeological Journal 12:1, 71–101.
“World’s Oldest Needle Found in Siberian Cave that Stitches Together Human History.” 2016. Siberian Times (August 23, 2016).
Zimmer, Heinrich. 1946/1972. Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press.
Zolin II, Peter. 2010. “The Real Story of Russia Baikal Malta.” www.proza.ru/2010/12/22/1475.
Zubchuk, Tamara. 2016. “Paleolithic Jewelry: Still Eye-Catching after 50,000 Years.” Siberian Times (October 31, 2016).
Zwyns, Nicolas, et al. “The open-air site of Tolbor 16 (Northern Mongolia): Preliminary results and perspectives,” Quaternary International 347 (June 2014), 53–65.
Many thanks to Debbie Cartwright, Rodney Hale, Greg Little, and Richard Ward for their help and inspiration in the writing of this material.
i Donnelly, 1882.
ii von Däniken, 1968.
iii Reich et al, 2011.
iv Burger, Professor Lee, interview, “Our Story: Human Ancestor Fossils”, The Naked Scientists: Science Interviews, November 25th, 2007.
v See “Mysterious ‘Red Deer’ Human Species Found In Chinese Cave…Denisovans?” 2017, and Gibbons, 2017.
vi Chang et al 2015.
vii See, for instance, Hawks 2015.
viii For an introduction to this subject see Reich 2010a & Reich 2010b.
ix Melanesians in Papua New Guinea are known to have the highest levels of Denisovan DNA today (5%), while some mainland Asians such as the Yi or Lolo people of China, Vietnam, and Thailand, along with Taiwanese aborigines, also possess noticeable levels of Denisovan ancestry (2%). See Huerta-Sánchez, 2014.
x Estes, 2013; Prüfer, 2014. See also Collins, 2014a, and the references therein, available to read here.
xi Derevianko, Shunkov and Volkov, 2008; Liesowska, 2017.
xii Derevianko, Shunkov and Volkov, 2008.
xiii Zubchuk, 2016.
xiv Hoffecker and Elias, 2012: 90.
xv See, for instance, “Genome of horse linked to extinct human species decoded in Russia,” UPI, July 31, 2013, and “DNA Deciphered of Horse Used by Extinct Humans,” July 31, 2013.
xvi “World’s oldest needle found in Siberian cave that stitches together human history,” Siberian Times, August 23, 2016.
xvii Gladyshev et al, 2012: 38.
xviii Gladyshev et al, 2012: 41, 43-4.
xix Sørensen, 2012: 255.
xx Sørensen, 2012: 255-6.
xxi Collins, 2014b: chs. 19 & 20.
xxii Lbova, Kozhevnikov and Volkov, 2012: CD-1902; Lbova, 2010: 11-2.
xxiii Lbova, Kozhevnikov and Volkov, 2012: CD-1902.
xxiv Lbova, 2010: 12.
xxv Lbova, 2010: 9, 12; Lbova, 2012: CD-1123, CD-1127.
xxvi Lbova, 2010: 11-2.
xxvii Lbova, Kozhevnikov and Volkov, 2012: CD-1902.
xxviii Kuzmin, 2009: 100 Table 1.
xxix Lbova, Kozhevnikov and Volkov, 2012: CD-1900.
xxx Lbova, Kozhevnikov and Volkov, 2012: CD-1903.
xxxi For a full exegesis of the subject see Collins, 2006.
xxxii Hecataeus of Abdera, cf. Aelien, ch. 11, v. 1.
xxxiii Derevianko, Shimkin and Powers, 1998: 127, 135.
xxxiv Derevianko, Shimkin and Powers, 1998: 136.
xxxv Ibid., 351-2, quoting H. Findeisen.
xxxvi Hatto, 1961: 334-5, 351.
xxxvii The findings of Vitaliy Larcihev with respect to the Mal’ta plate are spread across several publications. See, for instance, Larichev, 1986, and Larichev, 1989. A good précis in English of his work written by Peter Zolin II (2010) can be found here.
xxxviii Shodoev, 2012: 52, 56, 70, 76, 78, 87.
xxxix See, for instance, Hancock, 1995, and Hancock, 2014.
xl Zwyns et al, 2014: 61-2.
xli Zubchuk, 2016.
xlii Kulik 106.
xliii Choi 2012.
xliv Winkelman 2002.
xlv Keys 2018.
xlvi Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, 1889, i, p. 20, after Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda 2-82-10.
xlvii Zimmer, Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization, p. 48.
xlviii See Collins 2006 and Colins 2018.
xlix Collins 2006.
The Cygnus Key: The Denisovan Legacy, Gobekli Tepe, and the Birth of Egypt is published by Bear & Company, and is available now at:
For more information on Andrew Collins and The Cygnus Key follow this link.
2 thoughts on “The Denisovan Legacy: The Gift Of Civilization?”
Andrew to me the artist clearly arranged these strangely truncated sections of birds to form a face. If that’s true all kinds of mytho-theological interpretations can be read into it not to mention the possibility Robert Schoch’s Easter Island connection is correct.
Andrew everytime I try putting this image up all manner of electronic chaos ensues so if the previous attempt worked I apologize for this attempt!
Comments are closed.