The PalaeoChron team has been in Novosibirsk and Transbaikal obtaining more samples for the project. Tom Higham and Samantha Brown visited the Russian Academy of Sciences (Novosibirsk) and the Buryatia Scientific Centre in the Transbaikal city of Ulan-Ude (above) to sample bone remains and organic samples for AMS dating as well as collecting samples for ZooMS as part of the new FINDER project led by Katerina Douka.
We also spent several days with the RAS team in Novosibirsk discussing our forthcoming Denisova Cave paper with our collaborators Prof. Anatoly Derevianko (below 2nd from right), Prof. Michael Shunkov (next to him) and Maxim Kozlikin.
The weather was cold in Ulan-Ude, down to -21! The samples and sites, however, were really exciting. Among some of the samples we obtained were what we think might be a fragment of one of the earliest musical instruments, from the site of Khotyk (see below). We will return again in the summer to sample directly from some of the key Initial Upper Palaeolithic sites.