Oldest extracted human DNA
430,000-year-old Sima de los Huesos skeleton
430,000 year(s)
Spain (Burgos)

The oldest human DNA found and analysed ("sequenced") was taken from a tooth and thighbone (femur) of a 430,000-year old human-like species whose remains were found in a cave called “Sima de los Huesos” (“Pit of Bones”), near the city of Burgos in northern Spain. The results of the study by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, with co-authors in Spain and China, were published in the journal Nature on 14 March 2016.

The reconstructed partial genome showed that these humans were early members of the Neanderthal lineage, as already suggested from their anatomy, However, the mitochondrial genome recovered from the bone also suggested a link with the Denisovans, relatives of the Neanderthals, who are best known from fossils and DNA recovered from a cave in Siberia.

Previous studies had aged the "Sime de los Huesos" hominin bones to be between 300,000 and 400,000 years old.