One Extremely Human Quality May Help Explain Why Neanderthals Went Extinct

By Mike Fishmore | May 14, 2024

More intelligent

What led to the dominance of humans over the world while our closest relatives, the Neanderthals, faced extinction remains a mystery. 

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While it is commonly believed that humans were more intelligent, there is limited evidence to support this claim. Neanderthals possessed large brains, language skills, and advanced tools. They engaged in artistic expression and crafted jewelry, indicating their intelligence. This raises the intriguing possibility that the key differences lay not in individual capabilities but in the structure of our societies.

Exact nature

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Around 250,000 years ago, Neanderthals inhabited Europe and western Asia, while Homo sapiens resided in southern Africa. Approximately 100,000 years ago, modern humans began migrating out of Africa. The disappearance of Neanderthals from Asia and Europe 40,000 years ago, replaced by humans, suggests that humans held some advantage, although the exact nature of this advantage remains unclear.