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Neanderthals and Modern Humans Across Eurasia

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Dynamics of Learning in Neanderthals and Modern Humans Volume 1

Part of the book series: Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Series ((RNMH))

Abstract

Neanderthals, a European population was undoubtedly successful in surviving through several glacial periods. Their population, originally spread across Europe, composed of small communities but succeeded to maintain their relationships and their mating systems and thus secured their biological survival. Published samples of aDNA and teeth indicate that they formed a particular population, although morphological deviations from the western European relics are found at the edges of their geographic distribution. The expansions of Neanderthals into western Asia and reaching the Altai Mountains reflect their successful adaptations to variable environments. Their demise was caused, among others, by the expansion of groups of modern humans of African origins. The cultural traits of the new invading and colonizing people included high degree of mobility, signs of group identity, new cloths, use of ornaments, new hunting tools, and means of communication. The interactions of modern humans with the Neanderthals, discussed in the paper, provide a foundation for further research along economic and biological considerations that may provide a more sound explanation for the disappearance of a past successful meta-population.

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Acknowledgements

This paper is based on my public lecture at the opening of the symposium and represents my personal views concerning the issues involved in the investigation of the complex interrelationships of “Neanderthals and Modern humans.” I thank Takeru Akazawa and Yoshihiro Nishiaki for organizing the conference and the other participants in this meeting for their stimulating presentations. My views are based on many years of discussions with other colleagues during the excavations of Kebara, Qafzeh and Hayonim caves excavations as well as our joint fieldwork in Georgia and the Czech Republic. Needless to mention that I am the sole responsible for the shortcoming of this text.

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Bar-Yosef, O. (2013). Neanderthals and Modern Humans Across Eurasia. In: Akazawa, T., Nishiaki, Y., Aoki, K. (eds) Dynamics of Learning in Neanderthals and Modern Humans Volume 1. Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Series. Springer, Tokyo. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-4-431-54511-8_2

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