Neanderthals: what their extinction could tell us about Homo Sapiens

For generations, Neanderthals have been a source of fascination for scientists. This species of ancient hominim inhabited the world for around 500,000 years until they suddenly disappeared 42,000 years ago. Today, the cause of their extinction remains a mystery.

Archaeologist Ludovic Slimak at the University of Toulouse III, Paul Sabatier in France and his team have spent three decades excavating caves, studying ancient artefacts and delving into the world of Neanderthals and they've recently published provocative new findings. In this week’s episode he tells us more about how Neanderthals lived, what happened to them and why their extinction might hold profound insights into the story of own species, Homo Sapiens.

This episode of The Conversation Weekly was produced and written by Mend Mariwany with assistance from Katie Flood. The executive producer was Gemma Ware. Sound design was by Eloise Stevens and our theme music is by Neeta Sarl. Full credits for this episode are available here. A transcript is now available. Sign up here for a free daily newsletter from The Conversation.

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