Spy man and his Belgian cousins are older than we thought
“This is the conclusion of an international research team which has remodeled the remains of Belgian Neanderthals using a new technique”, specifies the institute. This discovery implies that the Neanderthals would have disappeared from Belgium much earlier than previously assumed and are therefore no longer the most recent Neanderthals in Europe.
A new study conducted by the University of Oxford, in which the IRSNB participated, has just shown that Belgian Neanderthals actually disappeared from the region between 44,200 and 40,600 years ago – and not there. 37,000 years ago – much earlier than previous estimates suggested. This dating error would be due to sample contamination, specifies the IRSNB.
A multidisciplinary team of archaeologists, geologists, geneticists and anthropologists has re-dated the Neanderthal fossils from the Spy cave and two other Belgian sites: Fonds-de-Forêt and Engis. This dating is crucial to understanding the relationships that the declining Neanderthals may have had and the Homo sapiens who entered Europe 45,000 years ago.