In the program, Terje Dahl is the one who makes the claim that the tooth is a replica of the Denisovan tooth. I emailed him to ask him why he made that claim, and pointed him to my blog post. He emailed me back with his explanation (which he has also posted within the discussion thread of Jason Colavito's review of the episode). Here it is:
Thank you for your e-mail.
I was given the tooth by the producer of the show at the time of the filming and was told that it was a replica of the Denisova tooth. Lying in a hospital bed and with cameras rolling I had no chance to check. I remember I was thinking that it did not look exactly like the Denisova tooth from the cave that I had seen on the internet but I also new that picture was from one side only. And that it was found two teeth in the cave, this might be a replica of the other one?
Was it a replica of an animal tooth I was given? I do not know, I am not a vet or a doctor. But the archaeologists that found the first Denisova tooth thought it was that of en extinct cave bear since it was so large. They should know the difference between an animal tooth and a human but the Denisovans was not exactly like us Homo sapiens sapiens, they were another variety of archaic humans, like the Neanderthals! Nobody knows yet what they looked like. But: They seems to have had a more advanced technology than archaic homo sapiens, it was also found a stone bracelet with sigh of high-speed drilling in the cave at the same layer.
I have read the article you link to and it is of course true that a large tooth not necessary mean that the individual is very tall. But it must be allowed to ask. And asking is what I am doing. I did not really want to travel to the US to be part of the show because I was afraid that they would dramatise to much and make me look a fool. It turned out that I was right. But I went anyway. I was hoping that the show could get the publics attention to what seems to be a not very known part of human history, and that I could be able to get the Denisovans into the picture. Native Americans have around 0.2% Denisovan ancestry and it seems that in modern humans the frequency of Denisova DNA is the highest among North American Indians followed by Europeans. What I am hoping is that descendants of the first settlers to the USA after seeing the show will come forwards with old large bone that was found in Indian mounds, so that they can be sequenced for DNA before they are repatriated. So many legends of the Americas tell about the tall, white people that came from over the sea. For me it is not important if these seafaring travellers were white, brown, green or pink but I believe that we need to find out who they where and why they had left their home country. Was it because of a world wide catastrophe as legends and scriptures all over the world say? Were they Denisovans, Neanderthal or might be a hybrid mixture of archaic humans? Or just kurgans?
I have not been able to see the show yet, I am living in Australia. So I do not know how the filming went but I can assure you that the producer had his own clear ideas of what should be filmed and said. And I fear that so much of the little I was allowed to say has been edited so it is totally out of context. I also feel sorry for Jim Vieira. As me he really wants to know the truth about what we call giants, but I am afraid that the shows will try to do the opposite - just create a general opinion that giants never have existed. But we do know that we have had very tall humans in pre-history, we do have fossil bones after them! But they were not always called giants - just tall human species. And the theory is that they went extinct before Homo sapiens sapiens existed; might be that we were the cause that they died out. Again: I am not so sure that this is the case - and we need to know the truth: Without knowing the past it can be very difficult to say something about the future.
I hope you will read my articles about giants (and six fingers). And please come back to me with more thoughts!