The interdisciplinary NeHos project addresses fundamental questions concerning the transition between Neanderthal and Homo sapiens populations in Europe during the period 55,000-30,000.
This is a critically important period during which Homo sapiens dispersed from Africa to Eurasia, new lithic and bone industries and art emerged and Neanderthals disappeared, while climatic instability repeatedly and profoundly affected biodiversity. However, at present we have only a partial understanding of how these changes are connected due to a lack of reliable time data.
Using advanced radiocarbon methodologies on bones (300 dates), we construct robust chronologies for the Paleolithic cultures: the Final Mousterian, the Early Proto-/Aurignacian as well as the 'transitional industries' present in different regions in Europe.
This spatio-temporal study will elucidate possible biological and cultural interconnections between Neanderthal and Homo sapiens populations, leading to a significant advance in our understanding of this transition period. We will also synchronise these anthropological and cultural archives with local palaeoenvironmental data to study the interactions between these human populations and their living environment, particularly in the face of climate change.
2023-2026: ANR NéHos
CEREGE lead :
From Neanderthal to Homo sapiens - Understanding a cultural (r)evolution in Europe during the Palaeolithic
Partners AMU - CEREGE, AMU - LAMPEA, University of Bordeaux