Around 45,000 years ago, Europe underwent significant changes. Neanderthal dominance on the continent began to wane, while the emerging human race emerged and spread. Homo sapiens. During the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition, a period spanning several millennia, there was coexistence and even genetic contact between Neanderthals and sapiens, as evidenced by the 2% Neanderthal DNA in the current human genome.
In this context, both Neanderthals and Sapiens developed distinct cultures. An example is the Lingambian-Ranician-Gersmanovician (LRJ) culture associated with a specific stone industry in northwestern and central Europe. Germany to Great Britain. It has been a puzzle to scientists that this culture gave rise to one of the two human races.
Recent investigations at the Ilsenhol cave in Runis, GermanyA site linked to the LRJ culture revealed sporadic occupations by modern humans dating back 47,500 years, long before the Neanderthals disappeared.
These are FindingsRecently released Nature and Natural Ecology & Evolution By a team at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, GermanyReinforcing the view of Paleolithic Europe as characterized by a diversity of human populations and cultures.
Originally excavated in 1930, Ranis Cave did not contain any human remains at the time. However, the most recent investigations, carried out between 2016 and 2022, went down eight meters and removed 1.7 meters of rock. discovery Exceptionally well-preserved human remains.
This is discovery A 1930s excavation prompted a re-examination of bone fragments collected. A closer analysis revealed that earlier identification of several bones, previously listed as animal in origin, identified them as human.
In total, thirteen human skeletal remains were identified, whose DNA analysis indicated that they belonged to a single individual. Homo sapiens or to multiple maternal relatives. They were part of the first modern humans to settle in Europe 47,500 years ago.
At the same time, two groups of researchers devoted themselves to studying the climates and habitats of these pioneers. Homo sapiens in Ranis, as well as adaptive capacity, describes its findings in publications in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Stable isotope studies of animal teeth and bones show that between 45,000 and 43,000 years ago, the Runis was a very cold region, comparable to the steppe landscapes of modern-day Siberia or northern Scandinavia. Also, a progressive cooling of climate conditions over time was evident.
“This shows that even these early groups Homo sapiens Scattered throughout Eurasia, it already had a certain capacity to adapt to such extreme climatic conditions,” explained Sarah Pedersani, director of the Paleoclimatic Study of the University of La Laguna (Tenerife) and Max Planck and Cave.
The finding is “fascinating and surprising” because until recently it was thought that resistance to climatic conditions did not take place after several thousand years, he notes.
Research details say that these are early days Homo sapiens They moved in small groups and made brief and active forays to hunt large land mammals such as horses, rhinoceroses, and reindeer.
This combination of studies, ranging from archaeological excavations and morphological and proteomics-based taxonomy, mitochondrial DNA analysis, radiocarbon dating of artifacts and human remains, zooarchaeology, and isotopic analysis, has been a significant advance in understanding the First Invasion. Homo sapiens In Europe north of the Alps, during a period that marks the transition from the Middle to the Upper Paleolithic.
“Ilsenhöhle's results at Ranis radically change our thinking about the chronology and history of settlement north of the Alps in Europe. The presence of the oldest H. sapiens now in Thuringia is very exciting. Germany“Tim Schüler of the Thüringisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie concluded.
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