It took modern humans three attempts and 12,000 years to colonize Europe – NRK Norway – News overview from different parts of the country

It took modern humans three attempts and 12,000 years to colonize Europe – NRK Norway – News overview from different parts of the country

Modern humans made three attempts to colonize Europe before settling down.

This is the conclusion of researchers who have long studied caves in the Rhone Valley in France, according to the report Watchman who cites the study published in Plus one.

In the cave, they find evidence that Homo sapiens had to make three decisive attempts to go west and north from western Asia before they could establish themselves on the continent.

– The first two attempts failed, but the third succeeded about 42,000 years ago, Ludovic Slimac of the University of Toulouse tells The Guardian. He leads excavations in France.

– After that, modern man took over in Europe. The Neanderthals, who evolved on the continent, died out.

The study is likely to be controversial, as the English newspaper wrote, because it indicates that it took modern humans 12,000 years to settle in Europe, and that was not far from a rapid takeover.


Reconstruction of the face of the first Neanderthal in the Netherlands, who was given the name Krijn. On display at the National Museum in Leiden.

Photo: AFP

It was very little

Homo sapiens’ transition to Europe was long and included journeys along the Mediterranean Sea before heading north to the Rhone Valley.

According to the researchers, the first group that attempted to settle in Europe did not survive before disappearing again.

They were probably a group of a few hundred, including women and children.

– It was a real group that made a real attempt to colonize Western Europe, says Selimek.

The answer to why there are failed attempts is simple, it says: The first groups of Homo sapiens were not large enough.

It may not have been enough to maintain their biological vigor, and they may not have been able to exchange genes with local Neanderthals because fertility among them was poor, he says.

Mandarin Cave

In the Mandarin Cave there was a mutual symbiosis between Neanderthals and modern humans. The cave is between 51,700 and 56,800 years old. This is approximately 10,000 years before the previously assumed date when humans first set foot in Europe.

Photo: SWNS

Be friendly to each other

Slimak disagrees with the long-held notion that Neanderthals and modern humans had a bad relationship.

In fact, most of the evidence points to the two groups being friendly toward one another, according to research from France.

Slimak has previously argued that modern humans, who first emerged from Africa around 60,000 years ago, may have been armed with bows and arrows.

This is based on 54,000-year-old stone points found in the cave.

This technology enabled hunters to kill from a safe distance, and would have given humans a significant advantage in encounters with local Neanderthals.

A girl welcomes a reconstruction of a Neanderthal

A girl salutes a reconstruction of a Neanderthal at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettemann, Germany, not far from Dusseldorf, on the site where the first Neanderthals were found.

Illustration: Neanderthal Museum / h. Newman

But after a period of about 40 years, the first group of migrants disappeared from the fossil record in the valley, and the area was later occupied by Neanderthals.

Therefore, researchers are asking themselves the question: if our ancestors were better equipped than Neanderthals, why did the conquest of Europe by modern humans end in this way?

This study is controversial because it challenges previous research into the origins of important prehistoric stone tools. These are known as Châtelperron ware.

The tools have thin blades and a well-developed structure, and have been attributed to Neanderthals.

But the new research rejects that. She claims that Châtelperron’s tools were the work of Homo sapiens, not Neanderthals.

Tools are man-made. Given their similarity to stone tools made in the Middle East, we conclude that Homo sapiens brought them there when they moved to Europe.


Finds in the Mandarin Cave in southern France can prove that the first people to use the bow and arrow in Europe were humans, some 54,000 years ago.

Photo: AFP

Built social networks

When the third wave of Homo sapiens came to Europe, there were a lot of them.

– The third time people came in a really big group. They built social networks, not with Neanderthals, but with separate small groups of Homo sapiens to build a large network across Europe, says Slimak.

In the end, it was DreWhich began to decline in the number of Neanderthals in Europe.

Mandarin Cave

The oldest evidence of modern humans in Europe was found in the Mandarin Cave in southern France and provides evidence of the coexistence of modern humans with Neanderthals. The flint arrowheads and tips found are believed to be of arrows that humans used when hunting.

Photo: AFP

Did we eradicate them?

We were told in the past that Homo sapiens exterminated the Neanderthals. But according to the researchers and authors, it’s much more complicated.

He writes that no physical evidence of war or genocide has ever been found forcing.

So it seems likely that Neanderthals disappeared due to the coincidence of many small details.

Archaeological excavations have shown that Neanderthals were far more sophisticated than previously thought, including burying their dead and making elaborate tools. They made a fire and cooked food. They painted their caves long before Homo sapiens started doing so.

The brains of Neanderthals were larger than those of modern humans. Most scholars agree that Neanderthals may have been wiser, but their ideas may have been less widespread because they were less social.

Neanderthals were few and lived isolated from each other. Homo sapiens didn’t need to be smarter than Neanderthals, because humans learned more and from each other and were more interdependent. wrote there was little use being a genius in the cave.

Species mate and reproduce. One explanation is that the two human species merged into one.

40% of the Neanderthal genome lives in Europeans, according to

Bow and arrow, Homo sapiens

Slimak has been working in Mandrin Cave for more than 30 years, and thousands of bones, stone objects, and ancient tools have been found since the cave was discovered in the 1960s.

Photo: AFP

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

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