In Graham Hancock’s new book, Entangled, one of the intriguing themes is the so-called “Neanderthal Enigma.” But, while much of the latest research on Homo neanderthalensis is reflected in Entangled, a new study reported in the New York Times suggests that this extinct member of the Homo genus may have met its demise from climate change, not from Homo sapiens:
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Homo sapiens may not have pushed Neanderthals to extinction, as some scientists have hypothesized; it may have been the weather that did them in.
Volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago devastated Neanderthals in Western Asia and in Europe, anthropologists report in Current Anthropology.
Naomi Cleghorn, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Arlington, and colleagues studied a Neanderthal site in the Caucasus Mountains of southwestern Russia. They were able to identify volcanic ash from two separate eruptions that occurred in the area between 45,000 and 40,000 years ago.