More human-Neandertal mixing evidence uncovered

Photo courtesy Muzeul Olteniei / Erik TrinkausThe early modern human cranium from the Pestera Muierii, Romania.A re-examination of ancient human bones from Romania reveals more evidence that humans and Neandertals interbred. Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues radiocarbon dated and analyzed the shapes of human bones from Romania’s Pestera Muierii (Cave of the Old Woman). The fossils, which were discovered in 1952, add to the small number of early modern human remains from Europe known to be more than 28,000 years old. More…

Redating of the latest Neandertals in Europe

TrinkausTwo Neandertal fossils excavated from Vindija Cave in Croatia in 1998, believed to be the last surviving Neandertals, may be 3,000-4,000 years older than originally thought. An international team of researchers, including Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, has redated the two Neandertals from Vindija Cave, the results of which have been published in the Jan. 2-6 early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Oldest cranial, dental and postcranial fossils of early Modern European humans confirmed

Where have you gone, Joe Neandertal?The human fossil evidence from the Mladec Caves in Moravia, Czech Republic, excavated more than 100 years ago, has been proven for the first time, through modern radiocarbon dating, to be the oldest cranial, dental and postcranial assemblage of early modern humans in Europe. A team of researchers from the Natural History Museum in Vienna, from the University of Vienna in Austria and from Washington University in St. Louis recently conducted the first successful direct dating of the material.

Earliest modern humans in Europe found

Erik TrinkausA human jawbone (left), dated to between 34,000 and 36,000 years ago, along with a facial skeleton (center) and a temporal bone (right).A research team co-directed by Erik Trinkaus, Ph.D., professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, has dated a human jawbone from a Romanian bear hibernation cave to between 34,000 and 36,000 years ago. That makes it the earliest known modern human fossil in Europe. Other human bones from the same cave — a temporal bone, a facial skeleton and a partial braincase — are still undergoing analysis, but are likely to be the same age. The jawbone was found in February 2002 in Pestera cu Oase — the “Cave with Bones” — located in the southwestern Carpathian Mountains. The other bones were found in June 2003.