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Finlayson, Clive The Gibraltar Museum, Gibraltar.
- Effect of cold climates
- Arrival of modern humans
- Genetic mixing
- Exchange of ideas
- Reasons for extinction
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Neanderthals were humans that lived across Europe, the Middle East, and into central Asia and southern Siberia between 300,000 and 24,000 years ago. The prevalent view has been that these people were “archaic” and somehow brutish and apelike. With the arrival in Europe of “modern” human populations from tropical Africa around 40,000 years ago, the demise of these “backward” people was imminent. Present-day humans are all descended from the African colonizers and the Neanderthals went extinct, leaving no genetic trace among the people of today. The story is still considered accurate by a sector of the paleoanthropological community. In recent years, however, new research has raised important questions regarding the impact of moderns on Neanderthals, the degree of genetic mixing that may have taken place, and ultimately the causes of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
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