Was it a Denisovan? As one person in the linked twitter thread notes:
It is not a Neanderthal and and too recent for Homo heidelbergensis. It is almost as old as the oldest trace of modern humans in Africa, and it is about 100,000 years older than the oldest Out of Africa modern human known from any other source.
We don't have ancient DNA from this 1978 discovery or several other ill classified old hominin fossils from China.
Wikipedia notes that:
The Dali cranium is interesting to modern anthropologists as it is possibly a well-preserved example of archaic Homo sapiens; it has a mixture of traits from Homo erectus and Homo sapiens.The details of the face and skull are however distinct from European Neanderthals and earlier European hominids, such as remains found in Petralona cave and Atapuerca. . . .
There has been considerable debate regarding how to classify the fossil in terms of species, with some anthropologists insisting it to be a regional variant of Homo heidelbergensis and others categorizing it as an early representative of Homo sapiens, and as such there is no current consensus on the species status of the Dali fossil. Some anthropologists, notably many Chinese representatives, cite the characteristics of the Dali cranium and other similar Chinese fossils of that era as evidence for genetic continuity in modern H. sapiens today, as Dali's traits are commonly found in modern Chinese H. sapiens populations. . . .An assortment of primitive Homo skulls have tentatively been placed with the Dali find. The Maba Man, a 120 to 140 000 year old fragmentary skull from Guangdong in China shows the same general contours of the forehead. A partial female skeleton with skull from Jinniushan (also China) seems to belong to the same group, characterized by a very robust skull cap but less robust skull base. A possibly fourth member could be the Narmada skull from the Madhya Pradesh in India, consisting of a single robust cranial vault.
The Denisova hominin, represented by a very robust finger bone found in the Altai mountains in Russia is quoted as likely linked to the Dali people. DNA studies show the bone belong to a woman, with Mitochondrial DNA linking it to a very deep split in the human tree, at around 1 million years old. This would make the DNA erectus rather than heidelbergensis or other more recent splits. However, the analysis of the nuclear DNA points to a sister group relationship with the neanderthals.Even one DNA match to Denisovans from any of the skulls in this category could make a very strong case for the classification of all of them.
A related question is whether Dali-hominins replaced Homo erectus in China, co-existed with Homo erectus in China, or evolved from Homo erectus in China.