According to this article,

interbreeding between archaic and modern humans

There is evidence for interbreeding between archaic and modern humans during the Middle Paleolithic and early Upper Paleolithic. The interbreeding happened in several independent events that included Neanderthals and Denisovans, as well as several unidentified hominins.

According to this other article discoveries change picture of human history-evolution,

Now, new research reveals that a third human ancestor was hunting and gathering in the same landscape. Two studies published Thursday in the journal Science describe a previously unknown hominin called the Nesher Ramla homo

And this other article enigmatic human relative outlived neanderthals also mentions,

The provocative find joins a number of recent discoveries that continue to point to a stunning diversity of hominins in ancient Asia, including the announcement just yesterday of a new species, Homo luzonensis, in the Philippines.

So far 4 species Neanderthals, Denisovans, Nesher Ramla homo and Homo luzonensis are mentioned.

Which others human species/subspecies are known to have coexisted in the past with anatomically modern humans?


1 Answer 1


This is a difficult question to answer exactly - I think it might be useful to split it up based on the degree of evidence.

Since you asked about Anatomically Modern Human (AMH), it's worth considering their distribution and timing. The oldest and most basal individual which is still considered AMH is Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, which is dated to ~315kya. In Europe, we have the Apidima samples from Greece which date to ~200kya and in Asia we have Misliya1 which is the oldest West Asian sample from slightly earlier 180kya.

Of course, these are the only specimens that have been positively identified as AMH. Therefore, it seems highly likely that there would have been earlier migrations out of Africa that didn't leave fossil remains.


  • Neanderthals and Denisovans. There is very solid genetic evidence that humans have lived alongside two archaic species; Neanderthals and Denisovans. There are fairly large, unambiguously archaic chunks of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in many present-day non-Africans.

It's likely that there was a single mixture event with between modern humans and Neanderthals.

On the other hand, there was likely several admixture events between Denisovans and modern humans, particularly modern humans in Southeast Asia.


  • Nesher Ramla Homo, dated to 140–120kya from a cave in Israel. There is evidence that AMH lived in Western Asia as early as 200kya, so it is possible they may have lived aside one another. However, it's also possible that the AMH lineage present in Misliya may have gone extinct before the Nesher Ramla was present.
  • Homo naledi lived in South Africa 335–236kya. This appears to be well within the likely dates of AMH occupation of Africa, given the Florisbad skull is AMH and dates to 259kya. It's been proposed that the signals of superarchaic admixture in present-day Africans could be Homo naledi.
  • Homo heidelbergensis, dates to roughly between 200-600kya and is found at least across parts of Southern Africa and Southern Europe. Given AMH almost certainly existed in Africa at this point, it seems plausible that they may have lived alongside heidelbergensis.

Possible but unlikely.

  • Homo floresiensis lived on the island of Flores, Indonesia, approximately from 50/60kya - 100kya. Data suggests that modern humans did not inhabit this part of the world further ago than 50kya.
  • Homo luzonensis lived in Luzon, Philippines and has also been dates to 50kya. Note that humans have existed in this region for almost 1 million years, but these would not be considered anatomically modern humans, who would only have arisen within approximately the last 350ky.
  • Middle Pleistocene East Asians hominins. There is growing evidence of a clade of modern, but with archaic features, hominins who lived in East Asia (particularly China) ~150kya. It's proposed that these may have been the result of a mixture between an early out of Africa migration and some archaic lineage such as Denisovan. It's highly unlikely there was a major AMH lineage present in East Asia at this point, but they may have interacted with early dispersals out of Africa.

It's also worth considering that we only have snapshots for these samples. It's possible, for example, that the Nesher Ramla Homo lived between 500-100kya, but that we only have samples from 200kya. The same goes for the dates of AMH presence in certain locations; even though we only have samples for AMH in e.g. North Africa at 315kya, it seems plausible the true date is somewhat older.

This probably isn't an exhaustive so happy for others to edit in things where necessary.


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