The jawbone was originally discovered in the Oase Cave in southwestern Romania in 2002. New methods of DNA analysis allowed the researchers to determine that an ancestor of this modern human mated with a Neanderthal between four to six generations in the past. The jawbone contains about nine percent Neanderthal DNA. This is the highest level of Neanderthal DNA ever found in a modern human. The majority of people on Earth today that have European ancestry have about two percent Neanderthal DNA.
The discovery shows that modern man and Neanderthals developed relationships quickly after modern man first entered Europe through what is now called the Middle East. No evidence exists that indicates what the nature of the relationship between man and Neanderthals was truly like. The new evidence does show that modern man and Neanderthals were sexual partners for at least 5,000 years after man came to Europe. The jawbone has been designated as belonging to the oldest known modern human in Europe that has been found to date.