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Determining the spatiotemporal relationship between the two populations is crucial if we are to understand the processes, timing and reasons leading to the disappearance of Neanderthals and the likelihood of cultural and genetic exchange. Serious technical challenges, however, have hindered reliable dating of the period, as the radiocarbon method reaches its limit at ~50,000 years ago C techniques to construct robust chronologies from 40 key Mousterian and Neanderthal archaeological sites, ranging from Russia to Spain.
Comparing the data with results obtained from the earliest dated AMH sites in Europe, associated with the Uluzzian technocomplex, allows us to quantify the temporal overlap between the two human groups. Bayesian age modelling was used to generate probability distribution functions to determine the latest appearance date. We show that the Mousterian ended by 41,030–39,260 calibrated years , end at a similar time. wrote the paper and all co-authors contributed to the draft. Rather than a rapid model of replacement, this work suggests a complex picture in which cultural and biological interchange could have occurred between the two groups across a period of several thousand years.
The results indicate that Neanderthals disappeared at different times in different regions, with a significant overlap with incoming modern humans for around 2,600 to 5,400 years.