Location - Location

In a French cave, all signs point to a prehistoric timeshare arrangement.

Tens of thousands of years ago, the hottest real estate in Europe was a rock shelter in southern France. Grotte Mandarin had everything a hominin could want. A rocky overhang that offered shelter from the rain.

Sweeping views of a valley and the bison and deer roaming below. A prime location in the Rhone Valley.

The prehistoric pad was so desirable that about a year after the shelter was occupied by Neanderthals, a group of Homo sapiens moved in. They were followed by Neanderthal tenants, then another settlement of modern humans.
Scientists presented these findings in a paper published in Science Advances.

More than showing how Neanderthals and modern humans were co-tenants of the European landmass overtime, this new discovery pushes back the timeline for Europe's earliest modern human settlements.

The first modern human occupants at Mandarin were about 54,000 years ago, a time when Europe was thought to be mostly Neanderthal stomping grounds.
That's 10,000 years earlier than previously thought [with the exception of a site in Greece that dates back 210,000 years ago].

The paper describes the human settlement based on the baby tooth of a modern human, as well as tools that appear to have been made by Homo sapiens.

The flint points above, of the so-called Neronian type, which is associated with Homo sapiens, were found in the cave. [ Sabrina Imbler ]


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