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Neandertals blasted out of existence, archaeologists propose

Modern humans may have thrived thanks to geographic luck, not wits

Neandertals didn’t get dumped on prehistory’s ash heap — it got dumped on them. At least three volcanic eruptions about 40,000 years ago devastated Neandertals’ western Asian and European homelands, spurring a rapid demise of these humanlike hominids, says a team led by archaeologist Liubov Golovanova of the ANO Laboratory of Prehistory in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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