New dating suggests Neanderthals did not mingle with modern humans at Vindija Cave

BY ED MASON | PUBLISHED: 09-07-2017

This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed. 

New dating tests on Neanderthal remains first uncovered at Vindija Cave in Croatia suggest the extinct species did not interact with humans at the ancient site, according to a newreport in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed.
The remains analyzed in the study were first discovered 40 years ago. While they have been aged several times since then, there has been a lot of speculation about the bones scientists believe to represent the last of the Neanderthals in that part of Europe.

Initial testing suggested the remains were around 28,000 to 29,000 years old. However, more recent tests dated them back 34,000 years. Both time frames are important because they line up with the arrival of modern humans in the area and work with the theory that Neanderthals and humans mixed at the cave for a short period of time. However, the new dating process -- which is supposedly more accurate than past methods -- shows this may not be entirely true,Phys.orgreports.

The new technique, known as ZooMS, uses an an amino acid taken from collagen samples found in bone remains to date fossils. After purifying the collagen to remove contaminants, the researchers used the process on the remains in the study. This showed the bones are approximately 40,000 years old, which means they were in the cave long before the arrival of modern humans.

Such a finding could rewrite common perceptions of both humans and Neanderthals in the area. However, that does not mean the two species never mixed. DNA evidence shows humans did interbreed with Neanderthals at different points throughout history, which means they must have met. It is just likely they just did not meet at Vindija cave.

"DNA studies have demonstrated that anatomically modern humans and Neandertals interbred," said study co-author Thibaut Devise, a researcher from the University of Oxford, according to Science. "There is no question about this although the two groups for the most part were not living side-by-side, it would seem. With this dating work, we are continuing our work to understand where and for how long the two species coexisted."

 

 

Comments
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 19, 2017
This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed. 
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 19, 2017
This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed. 
Wilson Soto - Sep 19, 2017
This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed. 
Dan Taylor - Sep 19, 2017
This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed. 
Laurel Kornfeld - Sep 18, 2017
This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed. 
Joseph Scalise - Sep 18, 2017
This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed. 
Joyce Clark - Sep 16, 2017
This discovery comes from an international team of researchers who believe the Neanderthal uncovered at the cave is much older than previously believed.