No fossils have been found at those sites, raising questions about whether modern humans
or Neandertals made the tools.
Many other and better preserved skeletons are known; however, this one is noteworthy because it was found in a Chatelperronian context--a techno-tradition long recognised as 'transitional' between the Middle Palaeolithic of Neanderthals and the Upper Palaeolithic of modern humans
htm) Denisovans bred with modern humans
around 50,000 years ago .
Golovanova and his colleagues believe that the Neandertals were long gone from the cave before modern humans
showed up, but not all scientists agree.
In their new study, Weaver and his colleagues crunched their fossil data using sophisticated mathematical models--and calculated that Neanderthals and modern humans
split about 370,000 years ago.
A rival theory suggests that modern humans
evolved into their current form in a number of different locations around the world, not just Africa.
A group of researchers, including University of Tokyo professor Gen Suwa, said the discovery -- made in the Ethiopian village of Herto in 1997 -- suggest that in the course of human evolution, modern humans
probably emerged from their ancestral stage in Africa.
Neandertals died out in Western Europe earlier than many scientists thought, between about 41,000 and 39,000 years ago, after interbreeding with modern humans
for a few thousand years, a new study suggests.
On this basis, the scientists created a model to determine whether the differences in genetic similarities with Neanderthal among modern human
populations, which had been attributed to hybridisation, could be down to the proximity of modern humans
in northern Africa (who would have later gone on to populate Europe) to Neanderthals.
Rethinking the human revolution; new behavioural and biological perspectives on the origin and dispersal of modern humans
present a description of the Pestera cu Oase human fossils from south-western Romania, one of the very few modern human
fossils now reliably dated to before 30 000 years BE They suggest that although the specimens exhibit features present in recent modern humans
, they also possess 'archaic' features; on this basis, they challenge the biological trait lists often used to dichotomise Neanderthals versus anatomically modern humans
Prof Stringer said in the journal Nature: "The fact that the geological age of these fossils is close to some estimates obtained by genetic analyses for the origin of modern human
variation only heightens their importance.