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Thursday 17 October: 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Henry Wellcome Building, Fitzwilliam Street, CB2 1QH

Our species, Homo sapiens, and the Neanderthals were the closest of relatives in evolutionary terms - we even had children together. But around 40 thousand years ago, our histories took very different turns: while our own species was successfully and rapidly spreading from Africa into Eurasia and beyond, Neanderthals became extinct.

The reasons for our contrasting fortunes remain one of the big questions in human evolution. Did our species simply kill them off – the earliest documented example of genocide? Were we cleverer at developing tools and ways of hunting to out-compete them? Were we better at adapting to the massive changes in global climate we know were taking place around the time that Neanderthals disappear? Were Neanderthal populations so low that they became too few and too in-bred to survive – did they literally sow the seeds of their own demise?

In this talk Dr Emma Pomeroy and Prof Graeme Barker will explore the various theories for the disappearance of Neanderthals, looking at the latest discoveries from excavations and archaeological science and how they help shape our understanding of the Neanderthal extinction.

Booking Information

No need to book.


Full access, Accessible toilet

Additional Information

Age: 16+, Talk, Arrive on time, Free