The main theory of the disappearance of the Neanderthals was refuted

As part of the SUCCESS project, scientists analyzed pollen from the cores of a paleolake (ancient lake) and minerals,

collected from ancient stalactites.In fact, they are climate time machines. Researchers have deciphered what the environment was like when they formed. The data disproved the leading theory about the extinction of the Neanderthals.

The Neanderthals lived during the middle and latePleistocene, about 400,000 to 40,000 years ago. They inhabited Eurasia, their traces were found in the north, up to modern Belgium, and in the south, in the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia.

For over 350,000 years, Neanderthals inhabited Europe andAsia, until, as a result of a sudden (by evolutionary standards) change, they disappeared about 40,000 years ago. Around the same time, the anatomically modern Homo sapiens appeared in Africa.

They were not the only hominin(humanoid) species that existed on the planet at that time. Other archaic human groups such as Homo floresiensis and Denisovans also lived on Earth.

There are a number of competing theories thatexplain why the Neanderthals disappeared. For example, this could be influenced by the aggression of evolved Homo sapiens, possible competition for resources, or even the fact that Neanderthals disappeared due to interbreeding with Homo sapiens. Some human populations that live today in Europe and Asia differ by 3% of Neanderthal DNA.

Also, some scholars argue thatclimate could push the Neanderthals to extinction. While this may have been true in other regions, it was very different in Italy, said lead author of the new study, Professor Stefano Benazzi of the University of Bologna in Italy. He is an anthropologist who leads the SUCCESS project to study the early migration of Homo sapiens in Italy.

Scientists of the SUCCESS project reconstructedpaleoclimate (ancient climate) from 40,000 to 60,000 years ago. Unlike the analysis of ice cores from Greenland, the experts found no evidence of catastrophic climate change in Italy. It is unlikely that it killed the Neanderthals.

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Cover photo: World History Encyclopedia