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Modern humans colonized the whole planet and replaced all other hominids, such as Neanderthals. This evolvement raises interesting evolutionary questions concerning both species. The paleoanthropological research presented in this video looks at a moment in time when both co-existed. In order to find out about the differences between them, JEAN-JACQUES HUBLIN looks at both species’ use of technology, behavior, and social organization using molecular screening techniques and archeological research. While it has often been argued that the replacement of Neanderthals by the modern human occurred due to the modern human’s strong evolutionary superiority, this research counters that precisely because they once co-existed, Neanderthals must be more complex than previously assumed.


Jean-Jacques Hublin is Director of the Department of Human Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany). Hublin has taught at a number of International institutions, such as Leiden University (Netherlands), the University of California at Berkley, Harvard University (both USA), as well as the University of Bordeaux and since 2014 at the Collège de France in Paris.

Hublin is doing extensive research on the evolution of Neanderthals and how their development intersects with that of the modern human. Between 2000 and 2003, he was Deputy Director of Anthropology, Prehistory and Paleo-environmental Sciences at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (France), the largest science agency in Europe.


Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology


The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology was founded in 1997. The institute's aim is to investigate the history of humankind with the help of comparative analyses of different genes, cultures, cognitive abilities, languages and social systems of past and present human populations as well as those of primates closely related to human beings.

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Original publication

The Modern Human Colonization of Western Eurasia: When and Where?

Hublin Jean-Jacques
Quaternary Science Reviews
Published in 2015

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