Did Neanderthals and Homo sapiens mix?
Scientists led by Erik Trinkaus from the University of Washington report that they have discovered features of both Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans in a skull found in Pestera cu Oase, Romania. This raises questions about the exact course of human development.
The approximately 35,000-year-old skull called "Oasis 2" dates back to the early days of the settlement of Europe by anatomically modern humans. The researchers see its archaic features in the flat forehead, the extraordinarily large molars and the large face. Judging by the measurements, the other properties are comparable to modern humans.
Most anthropologists today reject the view that there was any significant interbreeding between the two human species. Recent genetic analysis, but also anatomical studies did not allow this conclusion. The researchers working with Trinkaus, on the other hand, do not want to rule out an exchange of H. sapiens and Neanderthal genes: the circumstances surrounding the migration of modern humans from Africa to Europe and other parts of the world are more complex than previously thought. In any case, the skull shows how much mankind has evolved since arriving in Europe.