That is the suggestion of a study of DNA from a male hunter who lived in western Russia 36,000 years ago. His genome is not exactly like those of people who lived in Europe just after the ice sheets melted 10,000 years ago. But the study suggests the earliest Europeans did contribute their genes to later populations. Europe was first settled around 40,000 years ago during a time known as the Upper Palaeolithic.
But conditions gradually deteriorated until ice covered much of the European landmass, reaching a peak 27,000 years ago. The ice melted rapidly after 10,000 years ago, allowing populations from the south to re-populate northern Europe - during a time known as the Mesolithic. But the genetic relationships between pre- and post-Ice Age Europeans have been unclear.