About 200 thousand years ago members of the species Homo sapiens and Neanderthals co-existed on Earth. But then, about 40 thousand years ago, fossil traces of the Neanderthals disappeared and never appeared.
According to most archeologists, it was at that moment our evolutionary cousins have ceased to exist, as evidenced by extensive studies of the radiocarbon data, associated with fossil traces and artefacts of the Neanderthals. There were no immutable evidence that the species existed after the specified period.
But what if some community of Neanderthals in remote parts of Eurasia continued to live for much longer?
Representatives of one group of researchers believe that they found such a place — this Park is called byzovaya, and it is located in the Russian Ural mountains. According to their study, published in 2011, the Neanderthals disappeared there only 31 thousand years ago, that is, they existed on 9 thousand years longer than it was considered previously. Not only that, these brave inhabitants of the Earth had existed longer than others of their species, but they also lived much further North — about 1130 kilometers (700 miles) from the established for this species North of the border. Such remoteness of the habitat, may have saved the group from extinction at least several thousand years, and also became the reason of the later discovery of traces of this group of modern archaeologists.
However, other researchers disagree with this view and believe that there lived a modern human, not a Neanderthal. Today, almost ten years after the start of the debate in the journal “science” (Science), this question remains outstanding.
Let’s analyze the concept of the possibility of the existence of Neanderthals in the far North.
Evidence of a longer existence of the Neanderthals
Parking byzovaya is at a distance of over 1600 kilometers (1000 miles) from Moscow. It is located on a steep Bank of the river in the foothills of the Ural mountains constituting the boundary between Europe and Asia. This Park is located at 65 degrees North latitude, which is about 160 kilometers (100 miles) South of the Arctic circle.
the ContextVox: sex with неандертальцемVox18.09.2016 Why are extinct неандертальцыVidenskab06.11.2017 Videnskab: Where did the Neanderthals?Videnskab18.09.2018 since 1960-ies of several different research groups have conducted excavations near the village bizova. During this time, archaeologists have discovered more than 300 stone artifacts, as well as 4 thousands of animal bones, mostly of woolly mammoths. Made tools and butchered bones indicate the existence there of a certain kind of human beings (this group includes Neanderthals), however, there is still no clear answer to the question of exactly which group they belonged to.
the most Recent study conducted by a French-Russian team, yielded 33 radiocarbon sample of animal bones found along with other artifacts. New data suggests that the found samples belong to the creatures that lived there years ago 31400 34600 or years ago. By itself, this is a remarkable result, but it also fit thet expectations: in the Urals, there is also a lot of Parking, which was discovered similar samples, and from 30 thousand to 43 thousand years. A small number of such places were discovered further to the North, at the level of the Arctic circle. Many experts believe that there lived Homo sapiens, and they believe that only representatives of modern humans possessed the abilities and technologies (custom made size clothing and shoes) needed to survive at such high latitudes.
However, the analysis found in the Parking lot area Byzova artifacts caused confusion because it was made by another, more provocative conclusion. The discovered artifacts were made by Neanderthals, and the latter group, unlike the others, lived far to the North.
But here’s the problem with this concept — the Parking lot area Byzova was not discovered fossil traces of Neanderthals or some other group. Only stone tools and animal bones. For final evidence of the presence of Neanderthals, researchers need to have bones with the DNA of the Neanderthals.
the analysis of 313 stone artifacts discovered in the Parking lot area Byzova, such data is not found. Based on comparison with established places of residence of the Neanderthals in Central and Eastern Europe, scientists agreed that the types of guns and the nature of their treatment clearly relate to the tradition of the Neanderthals. Their contemporaries, modern humans living in Eurasia, in their opinion, was not able to create such weapons.
this argument may seem unconvincing, however, archaeologists have traditionally used style of discovered artifacts to draw conclusions about types of ancient manand respective cultures. Fossil footprints of a man — thing, in fact, rare. In most of the locations of the excavations are only detected artifacts. In any case, the artifacts often help us to establish who exactly was on the site, which was not discovered fossil footprints (believe me, I wrote a dissertation on this topic).
as a result, we return to the stalemate regarding the excavation of the Parking lot area Byzova. Different researchers examining the same material, came to different conclusions. Another group of experts on stone tools, believes that the findings more closely resemble artifacts of similar age sites in Western Russia, which have skeletons of Homo sapiens or “Homo sapiens”. According to representatives of this group, Byzova is another place of settlement of modern humans.
Update using DNA
While on a dig in the Parking lot area Byzova failed to find fossil footprints of modern man. However, ancient genomes have been detected in other places mentioned in this debate. Today there are DNA data that clearly indicate that two skeletons of modern humans were discovered in two locations in Western Russia (Kostenki and sungir’), and there was also discovered artifacts similar to those found in Bytovoi. This reinforces the conclusion that in the area of this village once lived humans of the modern type.
however, to say that these places are not next to each other — from the village bizova to Sunheri 1,127 kilometers (700 miles) and the village of Kostenki to 1600 kilometers (1000 miles). It’s just those places that are closest to Bytovoy and which wouldfound fossil footprints, and similar artifacts.
nearby archaeological sites with confirmed DNA samples of Neanderthals are closer to the South, and the distance to them twice (Okladnikova cave, Denisova cave Mezmaiskaya cave).
While we still don’t know what kind of person left their artifacts and the bones of dead animals in the Parking lot area Byzova. Perhaps it was Earth’s last Neanderthals or modern human beings who have decided to move further North. In addition, this group could consist of Neanderthals and of modern humans or even Homo sapiens of a different kind — for example, from the denisovans.
given the vast territory of Eurasia, it is highly likely that some groups of Neanderthals preserved in some remote corners, and they knew nothing about what other members of their species were doomed to extinction.
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