News FocusPaleoanthropology

New Work May Complicate History Of Neandertals and H. sapiens

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5950, pp. 224-225
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_224

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


What were the evolutionary origins of the Neandertals, and how early did their close cousins, Homo sapiens, begin their highly successful colonization of the globe? Many anthropologists have concluded that fossil skulls from Europe show a steady progression from pre-Neandertal to Neandertal features. At a recent meeting in Gibraltar, however, some researchers held that recently redated fossils from a cave in Spain paint a more complicated picture, with two or more ancient human species living side by side in Europe for thousands of years. Meanwhile, stone tools found in Arabia and India suggest that Homo sapiens may have made its way out of Africa much earlier than 50,000 years ago, as usually assumed.