50,000 years ago, the Negev desert was home to consorting humans and Neanderthals

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Human and Neanderthal skulls. Credit: The Verge
Human and Neanderthal skulls. Credit: The Verge

A recent reexamining of artifacts from the Boker Tachtit archaeological excavation site in Israel’s central Negev desert has found that humans likely coexisted with neanderthals around 50,000 years ago.

The study also found that Boker Tachtit is the earliest known migration point from Africa for early Homo Sapiens (humans) in the Levant region.

DNA research shows that the migration of modern human groups began from Africa to Asia and Europe, and from there to the rest of the world about 60,000 years ago, caused Neanderthals to disappear and assimilate into the modern human population.

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“Boker Tachtit is the first site outside of Africa, which modern man penetrated on his way to the rest of the world,” [said director of excavation Dr. Omry Barzilai.]

“The age of the site as dated in the study – 50,000 years – indicates that modern man existed in the area of the Negev at the same time as the Neanderthal man, who is known to have lived in it during this period,” he said. “There is no doubt that the two species, who lived and roamed the Negev, were aware of each other’s existence.”

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