Research article published today: French cave tells new story about Neanderthals, early humans
A cave 140 km north of the Mediterranean Sea was occupied at different times by Neanderthals and Sapiens, about 50 000 years ago. I think it was probably only used during the warm summer months, by people who were venturing from their coastal habitats (now submerged) into inland Europe. I am not convinced that Sapiens or Neanderthals were able to survive in the northern parts of Eurasia during the cold winter months.
Here are a few lines from the news article about this research:
Slimak, an archaeologist at the University of Toulouse, said the findings at Mandrin suggest the Rhone River may have been a key link between the Mediterranean coast and continental Europe.(Thanks to Marc Verhaegen for pointing out this interesting article.)
"We are dealing with one of the most important natural migration corridors of all the ancient world," he said.
While the researchers found no evidence of cultural exchanges between the Neanderthals and modern humans who alternated in the cave, the rapid succession of occupants is in itself significant, they said. In one case, the cave changed hands in the space of about a year, said Slimak.