May 03, 2015

Modern humans, not Neandertals made the Proto-Aurignacian

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2773

The makers of the Protoaurignacian and implications for Neandertal extinction

S. Benazzi et al.

The Protoaurignacian culture is pivotal to the debate about the timing of the arrival of modern humans in Western Europe and the demise of Neandertals. However, which group is responsible for this culture remains uncertain. We investigated dental remains associated with the Protoaurignacian. The lower deciduous incisor from Riparo Bombrini is modern human, based on its morphology. The upper deciduous incisor from Grotta di Fumane contains ancient mitochondrial DNA of a modern human type. These teeth are the oldest human remains in an Aurignacian-related archeological context, confirming that by 41,000 calendar years before the present, modern humans bearing Protoaurignacian culture spread into Southern Europe. Because the last Neandertals date to 41,030 to 39,260 calendar years before the present, we suggest that the Protoaurignacian triggered the demise of Neandertals in this area.



Grognard said...
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eurologist said...

Good to see that the previous morphological finding has been confirmed by mtDNA.

Couldn't have been any other way, really, anyway.

terryt said...

I'm not sure if the comment at this site is relevant:

"When comparing the mtDNA of the tooth to 54 humans, 10 ancient humans and 10 Neandertals as well as another extinct human and chimpanzee, the tooth was more modern human than not…"

Does it belong to a modern human haplotype or just 'nearer' modern than to Neanderthal? I read somewhere it was a sort of basal R. Is that correct?

terryt said...

R it was:

eurologist said...

"R it was"


That makes sense.

J. Lyon Layden said...

Why oh why do they keep saying that neanderthal died out 39k ago in Southern Europe when his 24k old bones are on the rock of Gibraltar, 21k hybrids in Portugal, late survivors areknown from Siberia, and Asians and Native Americans picked up an extra dose of their genes somewhere near Siberia/Mongolia ony 26 to 18k ago? They just gonna keep right on saying that til someone dumps the fossils on their desk?

terryt said...

"R it was"

Turns out it wasn't. Y-DNA some sort of basal F, but not belonging to any surviving branch, and mt-DNA very basal N. In fact probably somewhere between L3 and N proper.