A minority (16, 17, 21) regard the evidence as too weak, and have entirely rejected the late survival of Neanderthals.
Here we show that many of these studies have underestimated the problematic nature of the radiocarbon dates in southern Iberia, which comprise two-thirds of the post-42 ka cal BP dates for the Mousterian and Neanderthals.
A period of overlap between Neanderthals and AMHs in neighboring regions has implications for the inevitability of acculturation (1), interbreeding (14), and understanding the role of the environment in the spatial distribution of human populations (15).
Of 215 bones screened, only 27 contained enough nitrogen to attempt collagen extraction ( Two sites have been dated: Jarama VI, which provides the primary evidence for a late Mousterian in central Iberia, and the Cueva del Boquete de Zafarraya, containing the latest Neanderthal fossils in Europe.
A further nine sites were examined, but no suitable materials for radiocarbon dating were found (see ) and contained a rich Upper Paleolithic assemblage with blade and bladelet blanks.
The Levallois technique is present, and the complete reduction sequence is represented with cores and debitage products dominating the assemblages.
Some of the sparse assemblage in level 2.2 is arranged around a hearth feature.
Unfortunately, the chronology of the transition between the Middle and Upper Paleolithic has been clouded by doubts over the reliability of the chronological methods used, the extent to which taphonomic influences have blurred the association between the objects dated and the archaeological evidence, and the fact that the latest lithic assemblages are small and often undiagnostic, making them difficult to assign to the Mousterian (5, 16, 17).