New Dates Rewrite Neanderthal Story

Pallab Ghosh, BBC, August 20, 2014

Modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe 10 times longer than previously thought, a study suggests.

The most comprehensive dating of Neanderthal bones and tools ever carried out suggests that the two species lived side-by-side for up to 5,000 years.

The new evidence suggests that the two groups may even have exchanged ideas and culture, say the researchers.

The study has been published in the journal Nature.

Until now, Neanderthal remains have been dated by a number of laboratories but many have been considered unreliable.

Now an international team of researchers collected more than 400 samples from the most important sites in Europe. The samples were purified and analysed using state-of-the-art dating methods at Oxford University.

The results provide the clearest insight yet into the interaction between our ancestors and Neanderthals, when they first encountered each other and why the Neanderthals went extinct, according to the lead researcher, Prof Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford.

“I think we can set aside the idea of a rapid extinction of Neanderthals caused solely by the arrival of modern humans. Instead we can see a more complex process in which there is a much longer overlap between the two populations where there could have been exchanges of ideas and culture.”

Some previous dates had suggested that modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed in Europe for as little as 500 years.

Findings such as this have fueled speculation that our ancestors may either have slaughtered the Neanderthals or passed on diseases to which they had little or no resistance.

The new dates suggest that the two species lived in Europe for up to 5,000 years. This backs the view of some archaeologists that relatively late advances in Neanderthal stone tool technologies and their use of jewellery were copied from modern humans.

The study indicates that Neanderthals died out in Europe 10,000 years earlier than previously thought–between 41,000 and 39,000 years ago. This is the most accurate date obtained so far for the extinction, and it coincides with the start of a very cold period in Europe.

The new dates also suggest that modern humans arrived in Europe several thousand years earlier than previously thought, possibly as early as 45,000 years ago.

There is archaeological and genetic evidence that when modern humans arrived in Europe from Africa, the Neanderthals were already in decline. Previous studies have shown that they were low in numbers and so were increasingly becoming inbred.

The picture that seems to be emerging from the new dating is that the arrival of modern humans added to their problems, according to Prof Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London.

“They were hunting the same animals, collecting the same plants and wanting to live in the best caves. So there would have been an economic competition,” he said.

“But it was not an instantaneous extinction,” he added. “They were not hunted down and killed by modern humans or wiped out by diseases they might have brought with them from Africa. It was a more gradual process”.

Neanderthals declined in numbers over thousands of years while at the same time modern humans increased in number.

The cold spell 40,000 years ago might have been the factor that finally tipped a gradually weakening population towards extinction.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • John Smith

    How can this be? Race is imaginary; a social construct.

    I mean, Tim Wise and all my college professors have stated the obvious many times.

    • willbest

      Pretty sure when the leftist over correct and exterminate a continent they will “discover” we aren’t even the same species so as to absolve them of any guilt.

  • Transpower

    Anthropology is the most provisional science there is–it’s constantly changing.

    • AndrewInterrupted

      The most “provisional” or “political”?

      The real news never spoken is that Neanderthals and Neanderthal hybrids from Europe were the first Americans. This was found in Puebla, Mexico during the 1960’s and as recently as 2012 at Snowmass, CO when a Neanderthal meat cache was discovered, dating back 45,000 years. Europeans are the truly indigenous North Americans. Dennis Stanford also reveals later Europeans (25,000 years ago) dubbed “Solutreans” from the modern-day French region. Long before the Siberian Land Bridge migration, and before the Polynesian Ainu.

  • LHathaway

    The two species lived side-by-side in Europe for up to 5,000 years and yet whites will be lucky to exist in Europe side by side with their colonizers for another 500 years.

    • Mary

      Without a major turnaround, they’ll be lucky to get another 100-200 years, at least in certain areas.

    • willbest

      Its easier to coexist with with low population densities and the inability to enforce your will past your physical presence

    • John R

      EXACTLY! The “immigrants” from the Third World are wiping out the White people of Europe and North America, a hundred times faster than the “cave men” wiped out the Neanderthals, thousands of years ago.

      • LHathaway

        That sounded like a song. A song they actually played a lot on MTV. What was the song? ‘Dinosaurs’ by the band ‘Porno for Pyros’?

        “Here we are doing ourselves in, faster than they ever did. We’ll make great pets (we’ll make great pets).”

  • Darb Janowsti

    I still do not buy the ” out of africa theory ”
    If knee-grows left africa and adapted to colder climates in Europe then wouldn’t they just look like albino knee-grows ?
    Mating with Neanderthals would change their appearance , but this mixture would not produce such beautiful people such as Scandinavians.
    I believe their is much more to the story than science understands or cares to admit.

    • italian guy

      It’s not like Europeans descend from black people, we merely share a common ancestor.

      • Bossman

        And who is that common ancestor?

        • Randall Ward

          I don’t have their address, but I have a phone #.

        • B.A_2014

          He’s called steve. I’ve met him. Pretty nice guy.

          • Tbone

            Let Steve know that he still owes me that $50.

    • Bossman

      I’m still puzzled by that myself. How could dark-skinned people from southern Africa mate with near-apes from Europe to produce fair and attractive modern Europeans?

      • Those near-apes were the first to work metal.

        • Bossman

          Yeah, many near-apes were able to do useful things and I still see people who look like near-apes.

      • bilderbuster

        There are no dark skinned people from Africa.
        The world’s most evolved apes are from Africa and have dark skin though.

    • Bill Moore


      I don’t buy the “Out of Africa” theory either.

      I believe that Caucasians originated in the Caucasus mountains (therefore the name Caucasians), and some traveled south to Africa for whatever reason (glaciers?).

      This would have taken place about 40,000 years ago.

      There, Caucasian women were raped by the large monkeys, these women bore black babies, and the African race was started.

      How about someone doing a DNA analysis on that?

      Just My Thoughts,
      Bill Moore

    • LHathaway

      lol, I didn’t even get the ‘knee-grows’. Was thinking of looking it up. What a difference a day makes.

    • John R

      Ahhhh, you fell into the trap, my friend: Just because we are all “Africans” does not follow that we are all “Negroes”; don’t let the Left’s slight of hand language lead you astray.

  • dd121

    My theory: the smartest hominid usually wins.

    • IstvanIN

      Not necessarily, the story of European man and Neanderthals is chillingly similar.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    If the Neanderthals are ever brought back from extinction à la “Jurassic Park,” I’m sure the liberals will not want them living in their neighborhoods.

  • Bantu_Education

    Cromagnon man did not come from Africa.

    • Bossman

      I would like to know where he came from? Please tell me. BTW. If he came from Africa was he black?

      • Your political agenda is showing, Boss. You insist that the white man came out of the black man so you can push your egalitarian agenda. But you’re trapped because then you have to admit that blacks came out of apes, so that the “racist” whites who joke about blacks being apes are correct.

        • Stiv44

          …If taken to a very loosely logical conclusion…

        • Bossman

          Yes, Blacks emerged from apes but so did the White man and East Asians. Blacks have a few features that are far removed from apes such as thick lips; all apes have very thin lips.

      • He very likely came from the central Eurasian steppe.

        • Bossman

          You cannot prove that and there’s no literature on that as far as I know. What modern genetics say is that modern humans came out of East Africa 50,000 years ago.

          • Try about 160,000 years ago for a dollar. Even Australian Aborigines have been in Australia for 50,000 years, and they certainly did not get there on jet airliners.

      • De Doc

        We have a Mesolithic relic found in Spain dating to about 8000 yrs BP. This one is interesting because it shows a C1 Y-haplogroup (its mtDNA was U5) was dark skinned & dark haired and likely had blue eyes. The original article was featured on AmRen a few months ago. They speculate this specimen to have been one of the remnant hunter-gatherer types from the region and could well be a descendant of the Paleolithic Cro-Magnon. It does explain a lot though, because the C1 haplogroup is not extant to Europe and would have been one of the early splits from the Out-of-Africa groups. Hopefully we can get more and perhaps older samples to tie this all together. All the available data currently points to the U mtDNA haplogroups as being very ancient to Europe extending well into the Paleolithic.

  • Star seed. The white race may be star seed.

    I see that everyone is rejecting creationism and buying into evolution in the comments here today. I’m not necessarily a creationist myself, but the whole “out of Africa” story stinks, as others have noted here.

    The third alternative, which is promoted by some, is that the white race is star seed, coming from another planet as ancient astronauts, who colonized the planet. It’s as good an explanation as any as far as I’m concerned.

    • This ease of rapid worldwide travel, or even worldwide travel at all, is quite a new thing. For thousands upon thousands of years most people were born, lived, and died more or less in the same area where their parents did. Africans surely evolved in Africa. I think orientals originated in Asia. I think Europeans originated in Europe. That’s why after so many generations the races are still today as distinct as they are and why nationality was essentially synonymous with ethnicity in most places up until 1948, when the big push to diversify white people out of majority status in all our lands really kicked into gear.

    • HisGirl

      The premise of the remade series of “Battlestar Galactica” intrigued me for just this reason.

      • BSG’s original creator was a Mormon named Lorne Greene. The show is a mix of Mormon and Jewish symbolism (see also Arthur Koestler’s 13th Tribe published just two years before BSG’s original debut), with Earth biblical-derived names and with the story of a lost 13th tribe, an allegedly persecuted people constantly on the move, etc.

        • HisGirl

          I don’t know much about the original series, though I vaguely remember it from childhood (particularly the theme music); but in the remake, the names are of classical Greek origin (Athena, Apollo etc.) and the symbolism and plot sruck me as strongly Gnostic (Valentinian). At the end of the series, the survivors land on Earth, which is peopled with primitive humans. It is implied throughout the show that the cycle of creation, rebellion and destruction has occurred many times in the past, and will happen again in the future. It is an incredibly symbolism-dense and thought-provoking series, well worth the watching.

          • They were using Greek names and symbols like the Arrow but they were telling a Jewish or Mormon narrative about a lost tribe and about themselves being without a homeland. The original series and the remake had some huge differences but the overall plot was quite similar. The character names were too; in addition to the Greek names we had Saul, Adama, and Cain all appearing in both shows. Quite a stew of inspirations maybe.

        • Ike Eichenberg

          Glen Larson was the creator.
          Lorne acted in the show and was Jewish.

    • B.A_2014

      I don’t believe in the out of Africa story myself. That certianly does not prove that evolution is false. Africans and non Africans a different sub species. Europeans and other non Africans did not descend from the the African haplogroup A or B.

  • Randall Ward

    Neanderthals are and were modern humans. This fact was known thirty years ago but the science religion couldn’t admit their mistake because it engenders doubt in their priesthood.
    The variation in humans alive today is great and the variation in the past was just as great.

  • Samuel_Morton

    Neanderthals were simply bred out of existence by immigrants. While modern humans do appear to have practiced more symbolism and had more diverse tool kits, they really were not that different than Neanderthals, other than they lived in larger groups and had higher birth rates.

    Once the anatomically moderns established themselves in northern Europe, they gained hegemony of land and resources, and Neanderthals were relegated to refugia like the Iberian peninsula. After that, the gig was up for the poor saps.

    Sound familiar? Immigrants with high birth rates…natives fleeing the onslaught of different races. It has happened over and over in prehistory and history, and it is happening now to whites, mostly willingly. Extinction is in the cards for whites unless things change.

    • Bossman

      I fail to see how an advanced race could disappear to make room for inferior races. What I see happening is many whites becoming blended with other races , more so on the American continent than elsewhere.

      • Neanderthals apparently did not ever use projectile weapons. Their preferred hunting style was in close woodlands, with heavy, hand-held thrusting spears. As the climate changed, and woodland turned to steppe and then tundra, they would have had trouble hunting distant game, while people who preferred lighter spears thrown with spear-throwers, or bows and arrows would have had an advantage. The neanderthals were not stupid, but I think over-specialized for strength.

        Neanderthals did take care of their wounded so that they healed, but archeologists have discovered very characteristic patterns of healed injuries on the men. These look just like those on professional US rodeo riders, who sometimes get thrown down and trampled. These guys were thus getting tossed around by the very large game animals they hunted up close.

      • John R

        “I fail to see how an advanced race could disappear to make room for inferior races.”

        Really? Where have you been? That is happening all over the Western world now.

        “What I see happening is many whites becoming blended with other races”
        And in so doing, being outnumbered and eventually replaced. Remember, what happened to the Neanderthals occurred over thousands of years. As to Whites, we were ONE THIRD of the world’s people in 1900, and are less than ten percent now, and falling. We are being replaced a hell of a lot faster than the Neanderthals.

    • De Doc

      This is certainly not unusual in human history, as the pattern seems to have been repeated many times over even in AMH populations. Several ancient DNA studies from Neolithic Europe have shown that the Y-haplogroup G2 (now uncommon in Europe) was predominant in Central and Western European regions at that time. Now Western and Central Europe are predominated by R1b, I, and R1a Y-haplogroups and these were likely later Neolithic intruders from Western Eurasia.

  • Man of the West

    Interesting that, among the three main races, only those of European descent have Neanderthal DNA. I have 3%, this isn’t a huge amount but only about 2% of our DNA separates us from chimps. I’ve often wondered if this Neanderthal DNA is at least partially responsible for the profound differences in the white race compared to the others.

    • De Doc

      East Asians also have Neanderthal admixture somewhere in the 2.5% range on average. It is speculated that the Levantine corridor Out-of-Africa migration probably intermixed with Neanderthals in the Near East, contributing that DNA to all descendant AMH populations. Amongst Sub Saharan Africans the admixture is quite low, usually well under 0.5%. I weigh in at 2.7%, which is about 44th percentile compared to all Europeans, while my girlfriend’s brother is a whopping 3.2% or 99th percentile!

    • Bossman

      Neanderthal man was not completely worthless, he did contribute to human evolution. It is one of those strange things that happened that when African Blacks got cross-bred with those near-apes, the result was a lot of curvacious Blondes.

  • Mrfinoni

    #1. Neanderthals did not die our because we have Neanderthal DNA. Only sub-Saharan Black Africans do not have Neanderthal DNA. We are Neanderthals. Whites are Neanderthals although mostly modern human.
    #2. Science is discovering more and more that Whites have been divided from Blacks for thousand of generations longer that previously thought. This is no surprise to any White man with an ounce of self awareness. We are simply a different people!
    #3. We have a moral right to preserve our differences and uniqueness. Whites have a right to our unique history, traditions and genetics.

  • John R

    And a couple of hundred years from now, someone, maybe a Chinese, will be studying the disappearance of the great White Race that once had such an advanced civilization. As it is happening now, we are disappearing a whole lot faster than the Neanderthals, and even the American Indians.

    • Malgus

      Not sure I agree with you.

      I’m not an expert by any stretch… didn’t even play one on TV or stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

      Just seems to me that our rapid decline is relative to the massive explosion of the 3rd world population. If we were X percent of the world population 100 years ago, for example, and over the next 100 years the 3rd world population grows by several billion while ours remains relatively stable or only grows slightly, then of course our percentage of world population will drop like a brick.

      It’s not OUR fault that the denizens of the 3rd world breed like cockroaches. I think the homogenous populations of advanced civilizations stay relatively stable. They fluctuate a bit one way or the other – shrink or grow – but when you compare us to the dumps around the world, the only thing they seem to be doing is eating and breeding…. most times, on our dime. But that’s another subject.

      Also, you’re discounting Mother Nature. I shall explain: when a population of animals exceeds it’s carrying capacity – which is the number of animals that can be sustained on any given patch of ground – then even the smallest variation can spell disaster and a resulting population crash and massive dieoff.

      I don’t think we have a lot to worry about. Mighty Whitey ain’t going anywhere anytime soon… 🙂

  • John R

    We MAY have come from Africa, but we are not Negroes, as I have said before.

  • Tbone

    I agree, but we are certainly experiencing the results of whatever selective pressure existed. I would feel better about a world, in which, the truth prevailed and was valued above untruth, but alas, some people’s brain aren’t wired for the world as it is. I have no problem recognizing that someone else might be more adaptive or equipped than myself.

  • Man of the West

    DeDoc. Good explanation and I stand corrected. My original point may still be valid. At least it’s an interesting thought problem.

  • Texan1st

    We are learning more and more that Neanderthals weren’t the ignorant cavemen that they’ve always been portrayed to be. In fact, evidence is now suggesting that they were quite intelligent.
    All races have a certain percentage of Neanderthal DNA in their systems except Sub-Saharan Africans. Sub-Saharan Africans have 0% Neanderthal DNA.
    Of all the races, Sub-Saharan Africans have the lowest IQ.

    Coincidence? Or can we thank our Neanderthal ancestors for our intellectual advantage?


  • Fr. John+

    Oh, puh-leez! The only reasons for the Neanderthals’ rehab is due to the more widespread reality of Michael Bradley’s conclusions becoming common knowledge, in ‘The Iceman Inheritance’ and ‘Chosen People from the Caucausus.’ That is that certain umm, ‘tribes’ are more Neanderthal than Cro-Magnon!

    This goes against the ‘truth merchants’ because ‘race is just a social construct’… well, everywhere but in Izz ruh el, apparently: “…these committees are now legally permitted to refuse residency (in Pal est ine) based on any “undesired” identity, including Palestinian, Sephardic, African, gay, religious, secular and others.” (See 927 mag dot com on’Contradicting its own ruling’). Yup, one law for me, another for thee. And we still don’t get it.