Neanderthal/human relationship questioned

Sep 12, 2005

The debate over the relationship between Neanderthals and modern humans is taking on new virulence amid a collection of new evidence.

For years, paleontologists have argued about whether anatomically modern humans either wiped out the Neanderthals or whether Neanderthals and the invaders simply interbred to create today's Homo sapiens, the Washington Post reported.

While DNA analysis to date suggests Neanderthals and modern humans are probably unrelated, researchers say new analysis of materials from old excavations in France shows Neanderthals and modern humans coexisted in western Europe during the Neanderthals' waning days, and thus had "potential demographic and cultural interactions."

Co-author Paul Mellars -- a University of Cambridge archaeologist and leading proponent of the view that modern humans pushed aside and then replaced Neanderthals -- told the newspaper he knew "there would be screaming" after publication of the research in the journal Nature this month.

"It's hogwash," said Erik Trinkaus, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis who is an advocate both of Neanderthal-modern human interbreeding and Neanderthals' ability to adapt and "modernize."

Trinkaus said Mellars "is grasping at straws."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Study finds female entrepreneurs are discounted because of their gender

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Kennewick Man's DNA likely that of a Native

Jan 20, 2015

Nearly two decades after the ancient skeleton called Kennewick Man was discovered on the banks of the Columbia River, the mystery of his origins appears to be nearing resolution.

Recommended for you

Is generosity essential to human existence?

50 minutes ago

When Dennis ole Sonkoi was a child he never gave much thought to sharing. Growing up in Kenya as part of the Maasai community – a pastoral group of herdsmen that travels throughout Kenya and Tanzania – ...

Egypt unearths 3000-year-old tomb in southern city

20 hours ago

Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities says American archeologists have discovered a 3000-year-old tomb with beautifully painted walls belonging to a nobleman who guarded the temple of the ancient deity Amun.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.