The Altai mountains were home to a branch of hominids (humans) who were contemporaries of Neanderthals and of Homo Sapiens (modern humans), descended from Hominids who migrated out of Africa earlier than the Neanderthals and modern humans. The Denisova hominin, dating to 40,000 years ago, was discovered in the Denisova Cave of the Altai mountains in southern Siberia in 2008. Knowledge of the Denisovan humans derives primarily from DNA evidence and artifacts, as no complete skeletons have yet been recovered. DNA evidence has been unusually well preserved because of the low average temperature in the Denisova caves.
A dog-like canid from 33,000 years ago was found in the Razboinichya Cave.
The Altai Mountains have been identified as being the point of origin of a cultural enigma termed the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon which arose during the Bronze Age around the start of the 2nd millennium BC and led to a rapid and massive migration of peoples from the region into distant parts of Europe and Asia