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Initial Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria

Hublin, Jean-Jacques, Sirakov, Nikolay, Aldeias, Vera, Bailey, Shara, Bard, Edouard, Delvigne, Vincent, Endarova, Elena, Fagault, Yoann, Fewlass, Helen, Hajdinjak, Mateja, and others. (2020) Initial Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens from Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria. Nature, 581 (7808). pp. 299-302. ISSN 0028-0836. (doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2259-z) (KAR id:81524)

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The Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition in Europe witnessed the replacement and partial absorption of local Neanderthal populations by Homo sapiens populations of African origin. However, this process probably varied across regions and its details remain largely unknown. In particular, the duration of chronological overlap between the two groups is much debated, as are the implications of this overlap for the nature of the biological and cultural interactions between Neanderthals and H. sapiens. Here we report the discovery and direct dating of human remains found in association with Initial Upper Palaeolithic artefacts, from excavations at Bacho Kiro Cave (Bulgaria). Morphological analysis of a tooth and mitochondrial DNA from several hominin bone fragments, identified through proteomic screening, assign these finds to H. sapiens and link the expansion of Initial Upper Palaeolithic technologies with the spread of H. sapiens into the mid-latitudes of Eurasia before 45 thousand years ago. The excavations yielded a wealth of bone artefacts, including pendants manufactured from cave bear teeth that are reminiscent of those later produced by the last Neanderthals of western Europe. These finds are consistent with models based on the arrival of multiple waves of H. sapiens into Europe coming into contact with declining Neanderthal populations.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41586-020-2259-z
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Matthew Skinner
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2020 12:31 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:13 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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