Neanderthal–modern human competition? A comparison between the mammals associated with Middle and Upper Palaeolithic industries in Europe during OIS 3

This source preferred by John Stewart

Authors: Stewart, J.R.

Journal: International Journal of Osteoarchaeology

Volume: 14

Pages: 178-189

ISSN: 1047-482X

DOI: 10.1002/oa.754

The extinction of the Neanderthals is generally believed to be due to interspecific competition with modern humans. This hypothesis is tested using the faunas accompanying Upper and Middle Palaeolithic archaeology in Europe dating to OIS 3 and the start of OIS 2 (60–20 ka BP). The issue is also considered in the light of ecological theory, controlled experiments and field studies of competition between congeneric species. This paper concludes that competition between modern humans and Neanderthals is not easily demonstrated and that if it did exist it need not have caused Neanderthal extinction.

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