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Neandertals

Neandertal populations existed in the western part of Eurasia between 500,000 and around 40,000 years ago. They are among the best known fossil relatives of humans, and DNA evidence shows that some Neandertals were among the ancestors of people today.

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Can ancient amputations tell us about the care systems of our ancestors?

A 33,000-year-old case of an amputated leg prompts comparisons to earlier Neandertal instances of amputation.

Skull of the Shanidar 1 individual with portions of the upper body skeleton visible, on a blue velvet table
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The Nesher Ramla site: a third way between Neandertals and modern humans?

Fragments representing people who lived just before Skhūl and Qafzeh seem outside the expectations for these “early modern humans” or for Neandertals.

Archaeologists working on a large, terraced excavation area under a white canopy.
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A Neandertal recipe that tasted like the foods of later people

Looking at a fascinating new study that finds mixtures of different plants within ancient morsels of charred foods.

A micrograph with a grass leaf cell structure visible surrounded by chunky blobs of stuff
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Bison bones from Gran Dolina show butchery practices 400,000 years ago

Ancient people left a bone bed of bison killed in two seasons and butchered at the site with expedient tools.

Panoramic image of excavation at Gran Dolina with archaeologists at work.
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What killing methods enabled Neandertals to hunt large prey animals?

A look at sites where ancient people killed many animals at once provides insight into their knowledge of the social behavior of prey animals.

Vague painting of Neandertals with bison
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Different transport strategies for different large prey species at Abric Romaní

Interpreting the record of prey exploitation at a rock shelter site over thousands of years provides a window into past economics.

Two red deer does and a fawn standing within a misty fog layer with a rising sun in the background
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Lecture: Are we the last Neanderthals?

At this event, I shared new insights about the humanity of our extinct human relatives.

John Hawks giving a lecture
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Neandertals got as much as 6% of their genomes from Africa

An analysis by Melissa Hubisz and coworkers finds that mtDNA is not all that Neandertals received from our African ancestors

Neandertals got as much as 6% of their genomes from Africa
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How much Neandertal DNA do today's African peoples have?

New research shows that today's populations in Africa have around one third the Neandertal ancestry as people in Eurasia.

A male Neanderthal with white beard and long hair, holding spear
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A mid-century observer wrote about hybridization and Neandertals

A quote from Loren Eiseley, one of the best known writers about anthropology and human origins.