In recent years, anthropologists and archaeologists have been actively studying the origin and extinction of Neanderthals, our distant relatives who lived in Eurasia some 400,000 years ago. And while much remains a mystery, new research offers an interesting theory about the causes of their extinction.
One of the most interesting hypotheses is that Neanderthals were victims of genocide committed by humans. Scientists argue their point of view based on the analysis of archaeological findings and genetic data.
Researchers believe that the meeting of Neanderthals with primitive humans could have led to a conflict between the two species. Some scientists speculate that humans may have wiped out Neanderthals to take over their territory and resources. Others believe that competition for food and space may have led to more severe selection and the survival of only one species.
However, not all researchers agree with this viewpoint. Some scientists argue that the extinction of Neanderthals was the result of natural selection. They point out that Neanderthals were adapted to cold climates, and the arrival of humans from warmer regions may have led to the extinction of Neanderthals.
One of the key arguments in favor of the genocide hypothesis is the discovery of traces of violence on Neanderthal bones. Analysis of the skeletons showed that some of them had fractures, which, according to scientists, could have been the result of human attacks.
But not all studies support this theory. A recent study in Spain found no signs of violence on the bones of Neanderthals. This raises doubts that genocide was the main cause of their extinction.
Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Maybe the encounter between Neanderthals and humans led to conflict, but not to the point where we can talk about genocide. Perhaps competition for resources and climate change also played a role in the extinction of Neanderthals.
All of these hypotheses require further research. But one thing is certain – the Neanderthal extinction remains one of the most mysterious and interesting topics in anthropology.