It is always a relief to arrive at Denisova Cave in southern Siberia. After a bumpy 11-hour drive southeast from Novosibirsk, across the steppe and through the foothills of the Altai Mountains, the field camp suddenly appears around a bend in the dirt road, and all thought of the long journey evaporates. Steep-sided valleys, swift-running rivers and the traditional wood houses of the local Altai people dominate the landscape; golden eagles soar overhead. A couple of hundred meters away, the limestone cave itself, perched high above the Anui River, beckons with the promise of some of the most exciting research under way in the field of human origins.