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Keywords:

  • northwest Europe;
  • Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition;
  • acculturation

Abstract

In Eurasia, the period between 40,000 and 30,000 BP saw the replacement of Neandertals by anatomically modern humans (AMH) during and after the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition. The human fossil record for this period is very poorly defined with no overlap between Neandertals and AMH on the basis of direct dates. Four new 14C dates were obtained on the two adult Neandertals from Spy (Belgium). The results show that Neandertals survived to at least ≈36,000 BP in Belgium and that the Spy fossils may be associated to the Lincombian–Ranisian–Jerzmanowician, a transitional techno-complex defined in northwest Europe and recognized in the Spy collections. The new data suggest that hypotheses other than Neandertal acculturation by AMH may be considered in this part of Europe. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2009. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.