Homo sapiens altaiensis Derevianko, 2011
Year: 2011
Taxonomic Rank: Species
Holotype: Denisova 4
Status: Unavailable
Remark: Nomen nudum

Derevianko (2011) provided a monograph-length review of anatomically modern Homo sapiens that included reference to four geographic subspecies, "H. s. africanensis (Africa), H. sapiens orientalensis (East and Southern Asia), H. sapiens neanderthalensis (Europe) and H. sapiens altaiensis (Southern Siberia and Central Asia)," (p. 512). The monograph did not explicitly indicate the creation of a new subspecies names in accordance with Article 16.1 of the Code, nor explicitly fix type specimens as required by Article 16.4. Thus it is not clear that the author intended to propose a new scientific name.

Furthermore, Derevianko (2011) explicitly rejected naming a new species,
“Before publication, members of the paleogenetic team decided to refrain from deciding whether the Neanderthals and the Denisovans should be regarded as different species or as different subspecies. The name “Denisovans,” like the name “Neanderthals” merely points to the provenance of the respective fossils (Reich et al., 2010)…
During the preparation of the earlier article, addressing mtDNA from the hominid phalanx found in stratum 11, members of Pääbo's team considered the possibility of regarding the Denisovans as a distinct species (Homo altaiensis)(Krause et al., 2007), but it was decided to refrain from introducing a new species. The results of the nuclear genome sequencing suggest that the Denisovans were a subspecies, which, along with others, was ancestral with regard to modern humans" (p. 465).

The Derevianko (2011) monograph lacks a clear differential diagnosis in accord with Article 13.1 (nomen nudum), however it is possible to interpret the reference to Reich et al. (2010) as a reference to the genetic diagnosis of the taxon. The code is ambivalent as to the status of genetics for differential diagnosis and the use of ancient DNA to identify the Denisovan lineage marks a turning point in taxonomic practice. For the reasons mentioned above, we regard the name altaiensis Derevianko, 2011 as unavailable.

Zubova et al. (2017) presented a morphological analysis of isolated molars (Denisova 4 and Denisvoa 8) and attributed them to the taxon Homo altaiensis, citing Derevianko, 2011. Zubova et al. (2017) examined dental variation and concluded that H. altaiensis is distinct genetically and morphologically from H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. The use of Homo altaiensis by Zubova et al. (2017) could constitute a proposal for the name, however these authors did not specifically indicate their intent to propose a new species nor did they fix a type specimen and thus the name in this usage remains unavailable.

Harvati and Reyes-Centeno (2023) list Homo altaiensis Derevianko, 2011 among potential names for Middle Pleistocene hominin taxa.

Authorship Reference
A. Derevianko
The Upper Paleolithic in Africa and Eurasia and the Origin of Anatomically Modern Humans
The Upper Paleolithic in Africa and Eurasia and the Origin of Anatomically Modern Humans, Instituteof Archaeology and Ethnography SB RAS Press, Novosibirsk, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, 2011