A team of international scientists claims they have found where and when the Neanderthals made their last stand before extinction.
It was at Gibraltar 28,000 years ago, some 2,000 years more recently than previously thought.
The archaeologists and paleontologists reported yesterday finding several hundred stone tools in Gorham’s Cave, on the rugged Mediterranean coast near the Rock of Gibraltar. They are artifacts of the Mousterian technology, usually associated with Neanderthals. So far, no fossil bones of the cave occupants have been uncovered.
The researchers said, however, that the tools established the survival of a population of Neanderthals, a people closely related to human ancestors, in the southernmost point of Western Europe long after they disappeared elsewhere.
These were, they concluded, the last Neanderthals “currently recorded anywhere.”