Neanderthals are ancient men who were closely related to modern humans. About 40,000 years ago, they became extinct.
New research by the archaeologists from the University of Southampton has found that Neanderthals kept visiting a coastal cave site in Jersey from about 180,000 years ago till they became extinct. The research team re-examined La Cotte de St Brelade and its encompassing landscape. They also took a fresh look at the site’s excavations. These include mammoth bones and artifacts from the 1970s which are now kept at the British Museum.
The research studied the resource availability to the Neanderthals over tens of thousands of years and their whereabouts. The team matched the stone raw material types used for their tool making, mapped the sea bed’s geology; and elaborately studied how their tools were made, carried and reshaped.
New technology has enabled this in a way earlier researchers couldn’t, said Dr. Matt Pope, a co-author who is from the Institute of Archaeology at UCL. “The elements which led to Neanderthals coming back for so many thousands of years shows how this persistence is deep rooted in Jersey's past” said Professor Clive Gamble, the project lead.