Últimos neandertais europeus morreram há 37.000 anos atrás

sexta-feira, janeiro 29, 2010

Last Neanderthals in Europe Died out 37,000 Years Ago

ScienceDaily (Jan. 27, 2010) — The paper, by Professor João Zilhão and colleagues, builds on his earlier research which proposed that, south of the Cantabro-Pyrenean mountain chain, Neanderthals survived for several millennia after being replaced or assimilated by anatomically modern humans everywhere else in Europe.

Teeth from Pego do Diabo, Portugal (Credit: Photo by courtesy of PLoS ONE)

Although the reality of this 'Ebro Frontier' pattern has gained wide acceptance since it was first proposed by Professor Zilhão some twenty years ago, two important aspects of the model have remained the object of unresolved controversy: the exact duration of the frontier; and the causes underlying the eventual disappearance of those refugial Neanderthal populations (ecology and climate, or competition with modern human immigrants).

Professor Zilhão and colleagues now report new dating evidence for the Late Aurignacian of Portugal, an archaeological culture unquestionably associated with modern humans, that firmly constrains the age of the last Neanderthals of southern and western Iberia to no younger than some 37,000 years ago.

This new evidence therefore puts at five millennia the duration of the Iberian Neanderthal refugium, and counters speculations that Neanderthal populations could have remained in the Gibraltar area until 28,000 years ago.

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Science Daily


Pego do Diabo (Loures, Portugal): Dating the Emergence of Anatomical Modernity in Westernmost Eurasia

João Zilhão1*, Simon J. M. Davis2, Cidália Duarte3, António M. M. Soares4, Peter Steier5, Eva Wild6

1 Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, 2 Instituto de Gestão do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico, Lisbon, Portugal, 3 Instituto de Gestão do Património Arquitectónico e Arqueológico, Lisbon, Portugal, 4 Instituto Tecnológico e Nuclear, Lisbon, Portugal, 5 VERA Laboratory, Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 6 VERA Laboratory, Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Abstract Top


Neandertals and the Middle Paleolithic persisted in the Iberian Peninsula south of the Ebro drainage system for several millennia beyond their assimilation/replacement elsewhere in Europe. As only modern humans are associated with the later stages of the Aurignacian, the duration of this persistence pattern can be assessed via the dating of diagnostic occurrences of such stages.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Using AMS radiocarbon and advanced pretreatment techniques, we dated a set of stratigraphically associated faunal samples from an Aurignacian III–IV context excavated at the Portuguese cave site of Pego do Diabo. Our results establish a secure terminus ante quem of ca.34,500 calendar years ago for the assimilation/replacement process in westernmost Eurasia. Combined with the chronology of the regional Late Mousterian and with less precise dating evidence for the Aurignacian II, they place the denouement of that process in the 37th millennium before present.


These findings have implications for the understanding of the emergence of anatomical modernity in the Old World as a whole, support explanations of the archaic features of the Lagar Velho child's anatomy that invoke evolutionarily significant Neandertal/modern admixture at the time of contact, and counter suggestions that Neandertals could have survived in southwest Iberia until as late as the Last Glacial Maximum.

Citation: Zilhão J, Davis SJM, Duarte C, Soares AMM, Steier P, et al. (2010) Pego do Diabo (Loures, Portugal): Dating the Emergence of Anatomical Modernity in Westernmost Eurasia. PLoS ONE 5(1): e8880. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008880

Editor: John Hawks, University of Wisconsin, United States of America

Received: May 24, 2009; Accepted: December 18, 2009; Published: January 27, 2010

Copyright: © 2010 Zilhão et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: The research was funded by the Instituto Português de Arqueologia (http://www.ipa.min-cultura.pt/), research project PALEOALMONDA III (2006–2009), and the University of Bristol Arts Faculty Research Fund (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

* E-mail: Joao.Zilhao@bristol.ac.uk