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Humans’ entry into Europe pushed earlier

People may have spread across the continent more than 40,000 years ago

2:07pm, November 2, 2011

Stone Age people arrived in Europe several thousand years earlier than previously thought and made tracks across the continent, two new studies suggest.

Both papers, published online November 2 in Nature and already attracting controversy, support the proposal that modern humans established a European culture dating to 45,000 years ago that included sophisticated stone tools and personal ornaments. Until now, the oldest modern human fossils in Europe dated to about 40,000 years ago.

Other researchers contend that Neandertals, who inhabited Europe before Homo sapiens showed up, made these items on their own (

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