I'm a Denisovan

Image of fire use

Above: Illustration by Randii Oliver, NASA, courtesy of Wikimedia.


The Denisovans, from Denisova Cave in Siberia, ca. 40,000 years ago, represent a hitherto unknown genetic group of prehistoric people closely related to Neandertals but distinct from them. They are only known from DNA sequenced from a few bones, notably a little finger bone and some very large molar teeth. This genetic research was done at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, led by Svante Pääbo. Some of the Denisovan genes are presently shared by modern humans from Melanesia, suggesting interbreeding with anatomically modern humans in the past.

This song is written from an adult female Denisovan perspective (with attitude!), and is an homage to the 1950’s Sun Studio recordings in Memphis - early Elvis, Johnny Cash, etc., with Nick playing a rockabilly hollow-body electric guitar.


I’m a Denisovan
I’m a vanished breed
The genome from my finger bone
Was all Max Planck would need
I’m a Denisovan
Got my Stone Age groove
First cousin to Neanderthals
From Moderns twice removed
I’m a Denisovan
(Baby, I’m badass to the bone)

I’m from a Russian cave
Share genes with Melanesians
Across Pacific waves
I’m a Denisovan
With Middle Stone Age gear
Exactly what I look like
Is not exactly clear
I’m a Denisovan
(Honey, I got ginormous teeth)

"I'm a Denisovan"

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"I'm A Denisovan" © 2014 THE STONE AGE INSTITUTE®. Music and Lyrics by Nicholas Toth, Kathy Schick, and Carrie Newcomer. All rights reserved.

Carrie Newcomer

Electric, Acoustic, and Bass Guitars:
Nicholas Toth

Tom Schoenemann

Kathy Schick

Kevin Loyal

Recorded at Echo Park Studio. Recording © 2014, THE STONE AGE INSTITUTE®.










I’m a Denisovan
I forage for my grub
Hunt deer with spear and without fear
I tote a wooden club
I’m a Denisovan
Lookin’ for my mate
A stand-up kind of troglodyte
Designed to procreate
I’m a Denisovan
(Darlin’, I got tiger blood)


I’m a Denisovan
Green bracelet made of stone
I flake and make flint implements
And garments needle-sewn
I’m a Denisovan
Back forty-thousand years
An Ice Age adaptation on
Siberia’s frontiers
I’m a Denisovan
(Baby, I got the Genome of Love)