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Neanderthal and Modern Human Adaptations in Eastern Europe (NEMO-ADAP)
Date du début: 1 déc. 2012, Date de fin: 30 nov. 2016 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

"Modern human dispersal into Eurasia and the replacement of Neanderthals is one of the major issues in archaeological research. Particularly interesting is that modern humans were extremely successful in dispersing from Africa into virtually all parts of the planet. What behavioural adaptations contributed to their success? Are these adaptations unique to modern humans? What were the climatic conditions under which modern humans dispersed into Europe? Answering these key questions requires comparing the behaviour of the last Neanderthals and first modern humans in Europe, and placing these behaviours in an accurate climatic context. There is an urgent need for new, high quality datasets as much of the current debate deals with biased datasets from old excavations. Therefore, it is proposed here to survey and excavate new sites in four case-study regions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine and Russia). This project has two objectives: (1) the empirical creation of new scientific information and (2) the testing of models of modern human-Neanderthal interaction, modern human dispersal and colonisation processes. Objective 1 includes (a) characterisation of Neanderthal and modern human behavioural and cultural adaptations in the four case-study areas, (b) construction of a chronostratigraphic framework for the Late Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic of these areas, and (c) reconstruction of palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment to assess the conditions under which modern humans dispersed into Europe. Objective 2 seeks to test hypotheses and theoretical models of modern human-Neanderthal dynamics against these new data using a systematic, deductive approach. This project will contribute to a better understanding of the chronostratigraphic and climatic context of the modern human dispersal into Europe and the disappearance of Neanderthals. In so doing, it will reveal the behavioural underpinnings of the adaptive success, which allowed our species to eventually colonise the globe."