Earliest evidence of contact of Cro-Magnons with Neanderthals found

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A group of researchers from seven countries discovered in the cave of Bacho Kiro the remains of people of the species Homo sapiens aged 41,500 to 45,000 years. At that time Neanderthals lived in the same cave. Thus, the evidence found by scientists is the earliest evidence of the intersection of these two species. An article by researchers is published in the journal Nature.

The Bulgarian cave Bacho Kiro is known for discovering the most ancient human remains in Bulgaria. The earlier cave paintings found in the cave were dated by the method of radiocarbon analysis, which showed that their age is from 43 to 46 thousand years – older than all such finds in Europe.

Now, researchers have discovered new remains in the cave – a molar and six remains of bones aged 41,500 to 45,000 years. After the analysis, it turned out that they belong to a human species of Homo sapiens. Findings in the cave also indicate that modern people intersected with Neanderthals, who, according to previous works, were in this region up to 40 thousand years ago.

The evidence obtained represents the oldest evidence to date of the presence of H. sapiens in Europe several millennia before the disappearance of Neanderthals. According to the results, these two types of people could live side by side in the same area for 8000 years.

The remains were found near animal bones and stone artifacts that date from a similar time period. Analysis of the DNA and proteins extracted from them testified to the belonging of the remains to the species Homo sapiens. Analysis of the remains of animals showed that ancient people in this area most often ate meat of bison, deer, cave bears, goats and wild horses.

Among other things, the authors found ivory beads and bear pendants in the cave. This fact led researchers to the idea that it was these people who inspired the Neanderthals to make such jewelry several thousand years later. These findings are consistent with models based on the migration to Europe of numerous waves of Cro-Magnons coming into contact with declining populations of Neanderthals.

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