Neandertais nunca conviveram com humanos na Europa???

terça-feira, maio 10, 2011

Published online 9 May 2011 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2011.276


Europeans never had Neanderthal neighbours

Russian find suggests Neanderthals died out earlier than was thought.

Ewen Callaway

The first humans to reach Europe may have found it a ghost world. Carbon-dated Neanderthal remains from the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains suggest that the archaic species had died out before modern humans arrived.

The remains are almost 10,000 years older than expected. They come from just one cave in western Russia, called Mezmaiskaya, but bones at other Neanderthal sites farther west could also turn out to be more ancient than previously thought, thanks to a precise carbon-dating technique, says Thomas Higham, a palaeoanthropologist at the University of Oxford, UK, and a co-author of a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.

Neanderthals and humans probably never coexisted in Europe.

The implication, says Higham's team, is that Neanderthals and humans might never have met in Europe. However, the Neanderthal genome, decoded last year2, hints that the ancestors of all humans, except those from Africa, interbred with Neanderthals somewhere. Perhaps humans departing Africa encountered resident Neanderthals in the Middle East.

"DNA results show that there was admixture probably at some stage in our human ancestry, but it more than likely happened quite a long time before humans arrived in Europe," says Ron Pinhasi, an archaeologist at University College Cork in Ireland, who is lead author of the latest study. "I don't believe there were regions where Neanderthals were living next to modern humans. I just don't find it very feasible," he adds.

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Nature


Revised age of late Neanderthal occupation and the end of the Middle Paleolithic in the northern Caucasus

Ron Pinhasia,1, Thomas F. G. Highamb,1, Liubov V. Golovanovac,1, and Vladimir B. Doronichevc,1

Author Affiliations

aDepartment of Archaeology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland; 
bOxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom; and 
cLaboratory of Prehistory, St. Petersburg 190034, Russia 

Edited by Richard G. Klein, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved March 31, 2011 (received for review December 17, 2010) 


Advances in direct radiocarbon dating of Neanderthal and anatomically modern human (AMH) fossils and the development of archaeostratigraphic chronologies now allow refined regional models for Neanderthal–AMH coexistence. In addition, they allow us to explore the issue of late Neanderthal survival in regions of Western Eurasia located within early routes of AMH expansion such as the Caucasus. Here we report the direct radiocarbon (14C) dating of a late Neanderthal specimen from a Late Middle Paleolithic (LMP) layer in Mezmaiskaya Cave, northern Caucasus. Additionally, we provide a more accurate chronology for the timing of Neanderthal extinction in the region through a robust series of 16 ultrafiltered bone collagen radiocarbon dates from LMP layers and using Bayesian modeling to produce a boundary probability distribution function corresponding to the end of the LMP at Mezmaiskaya. The direct date of the fossil (39,700 ± 1,100 14C BP) is in good agreement with the probability distribution function, indicating at a high level of probability that Neanderthals did not survive at Mezmaiskaya Cave after 39 ka cal BP ("calendrical" age in kiloannum before present, based on IntCal09 calibration curve). This challenges previous claims for late Neanderthal survival in the northern Caucasus. We see striking and largely synchronous chronometric similarities between the Bayesian age modeling for the end of the LMP at Mezmaiskaya and chronometric data from Ortvale Klde for the end of the LMP in the southern Caucasus. Our results confirm the lack of reliably dated Neanderthal fossils younger than ∼40 ka cal BP in any other region of Western Eurasia, including the Caucasus.

ultrafiltration, admixture


1To whom correspondence may be addressed. 

Author contributions: R.P., T.F.G.H., L.V.G., and V.B.D. designed research, performed research, analyzed data, and wrote the paper. 

The authors declare no conflict of interest. 

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. 

This article contains supporting information online at 


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