A new study claims modern humans and Neanderthals co-existed and shared cultural concepts, longer than previously thought. A bunch of fossils and some intriguing tools were discovered in a Bulgarian cave. They show modern humans were present in Europe approximately 46,000 years ago. Notably, they likely interacted with Neanderthals for an unexpected period.
According to the study, the finding of ancient modern humans fossils in south-east Europe is the oldest proof of Homo sapiens in that region. The stone tools, on the other hand, show some unique features of both modern humans and Neanderthals’ tool-making techniques. Most significantly, they offer us a sneak peek of how the cultures may have mixed.
Modern Humans’ Interaction With the Neanderthals
The finding, situated within a beautiful region in Bulgaria, the Bacho Kiro Cave, comprised fossils such as a single tooth, and ornaments, a pendant made from bear teeth. The cave already has a rich history of Homo sapiens archaeological finds unearthed within its walls.
Morphological examinations of the fossils and sequencing of the mitochondrial DNA and protein from bone remains were performed. The results were indeed satisfying, showing the fossils belonged to a community of modern humans. They possibly made their home in the cave approximately 42,000 to 45,000 years ago. When the radiocarbon dating was applied, the results push that period somewhere around 46,000 years. Neanderthals are thought to have existed until approximately 40,000 years ago.
While such analyses are essential for finding out how old modern humans are, the ornaments hold some vital details, as well. They support the theory that modern humans met with the last of the Neanderthals, and influenced parts of their culture. The fossils discovery increases the period the two likely mixed and shared cultural behaviors or elements, passed from one generation to the next. It’s like nothing the scientists encountered before, and it will surely support feature research.
As our second lead editor, Suzanne Fisher provides guidance on the stories Tech Life reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Suzanne. Suzanne received a BA and MA from Fordham University.