The timing ofNeanderthal disappearance and the extent to which they overlapped with the earliest incoming anatomically modern humans (AMHs) in Eurasia are key questions in palaeoanthropology1,2.Determining the spatiotemporal relationship between the two populations is crucial if we are to understand the processes, timing and reasons leading to the disappearance of Neanderthals and the likelihood of cultural and genetic exchange. Serious technical challenges, however, have hindered reliable dating of the period, as the radiocarbon method reaches its limit at 50,000 years ago3.Here we apply improved accelerator mass spectrometry 14C techniques to construct robust chronologies from 40 key Mousterian and Neanderthal archaeological sites, ranging fromRussia to Spain.Bayesian agemodelling was used to generate probability distribution functions to determine the latest appearancedate.Weshow that theMousterian ended by 41,030–39,260 calibrated years BP (at 95.4%probability) across Europe.Wealso demonstrate that succeeding ‘transitional’ archaeological industries, one ofwhich has been linked with Neanderthals (Chaˆtelperronian)4, end at a similar time. Our data indicate that the disappearance of Neanderthals occurred at different times in different regions.Comparing the data with results obtained from the earliest dated AMH sites in Europe, associated with the Uluzzian technocomplex5, allows us to quantify the temporal overlap between the two human groups. The results reveal a significant overlap of 2,600–5,400 years (at 95.4%probability). This has important implications formodels seeking to explain the cultural, technological and biological elements involved in the replacement of Neanderthals byAMHs. A mosaic of populations in Europe during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition suggests that there was ample time for the transmission of cultural and symbolic behaviours, as well as possible genetic exchanges, between the two groups.

The timing and spatiotemporal patterning of Neanderthal disappearance

Grimaldi, Stefano;
2014

Abstract

The timing ofNeanderthal disappearance and the extent to which they overlapped with the earliest incoming anatomically modern humans (AMHs) in Eurasia are key questions in palaeoanthropology1,2.Determining the spatiotemporal relationship between the two populations is crucial if we are to understand the processes, timing and reasons leading to the disappearance of Neanderthals and the likelihood of cultural and genetic exchange. Serious technical challenges, however, have hindered reliable dating of the period, as the radiocarbon method reaches its limit at 50,000 years ago3.Here we apply improved accelerator mass spectrometry 14C techniques to construct robust chronologies from 40 key Mousterian and Neanderthal archaeological sites, ranging fromRussia to Spain.Bayesian agemodelling was used to generate probability distribution functions to determine the latest appearancedate.Weshow that theMousterian ended by 41,030–39,260 calibrated years BP (at 95.4%probability) across Europe.Wealso demonstrate that succeeding ‘transitional’ archaeological industries, one ofwhich has been linked with Neanderthals (Chaˆtelperronian)4, end at a similar time. Our data indicate that the disappearance of Neanderthals occurred at different times in different regions.Comparing the data with results obtained from the earliest dated AMH sites in Europe, associated with the Uluzzian technocomplex5, allows us to quantify the temporal overlap between the two human groups. The results reveal a significant overlap of 2,600–5,400 years (at 95.4%probability). This has important implications formodels seeking to explain the cultural, technological and biological elements involved in the replacement of Neanderthals byAMHs. A mosaic of populations in Europe during the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition suggests that there was ample time for the transmission of cultural and symbolic behaviours, as well as possible genetic exchanges, between the two groups.
Higham, T.; Douka, K.; Wood, R.; Bronk Ramsey, C.; Brock, F.; Basell, L.; Camps, M.; Arrizabalaga, A.; Baena, J.; Barroso Ruíz, C.; Bergman, C.; Boitard, C.; Boscato, P.; Caparrós, M.; Conard, N.; Draily, C.; Froment, A.; Galván, B.; Gambassini, P.; Garcia Moreno, A.; Grimaldi, Stefano; Haesaerts, P.; Holt, B.; Iriarte Chiapusso, M.; Ajelinek, A. Jelinek; Jjordá, J. Jordá Pardo; Maíllo Fernández, J.; Marom, A.; Maroto, J.; Menéndez, M.; Metz, L.; Morin, E.; Moroni, A.; Negrino, F.; Panagopoulou, E.; Peresani, M.; Pirson, S.; de la Rasilla, M.; Riel Salvatore, J.; Ronchitelli, A.; Santamaria, D.; Semal, P.; Slimak, L.; Soler, J.; Soler, N.; Villaluenga, A.; Pinhasi, R.; Jacobi, R.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/97403
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