A war of genes with Neanderthals

Analysis of the DNA of the oldest Homo sapiens in Europe tells us about the first settlements on the continent.

40,000 years ago Neanderthals disappeared from the face of the globe. Then began the reign ofHomo sapiens, the only human species on the surface of the globe today when the planet numbered at least five a few thousand years ago. The reasons for this exceptional hegemony are the subject of bitter debates and discussions among scientists. Posted this month in Nature, DNA analysis of the first Homo sapiens Europe (around 45,000 years old) now allows us to study in detail for the first time their genetic hybridization with our Neanderthal cousins, which sheds new light on this question.

These human remains, the oldest representatives of our species on the continent, were discovered in the cave of Bacho Kiro, Bulgaria, in 2020 by Jean-Jacques Hublin. The first surprise of these genetic analyzes is that these groups of pioneers are not the ancestors of the future Europeans who will be found in Chauvet (going back

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