Published in

National Academy of Sciences, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 12(118), 2021

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2022466118



Export citation

Search in Google Scholar

Reevaluating the timing of Neanderthal disappearance in Northwest Europe

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

Full text: Download

Red circle
Preprint: archiving forbidden
Green circle
Postprint: archiving allowed
Red circle
Published version: archiving forbidden
Data provided by SHERPA/RoMEO


Significance Understanding when Neanderthals disappeared is a hotly debated topic. When radiocarbon dating placed the Spy Neanderthals amongst the latest surviving in Northwest Europe, questions were raised regarding the reliability of the dates. Using a procedure more efficient in removing contamination and ancient genomic analysis, we show that previous dates produced on Neanderthal specimens from Spy are too young by up to 10,000 y. Our direct radiocarbon dates on the Neanderthals from Spy and those from Engis and Fonds-de-Forêt show a reduction of the uncertainty for the time window corresponding to Neanderthal disappearance in Northwest Europe. This population disappeared at 44,200 to 40,600 cal B.P. (at 95.4% probability). This is also earlier than previous suggestions based on dates on bulk collagen.