London: A new study has suggested that modern humans and Neanderthals lived side-by-side for up to 5,000 years after the researchers collected more than 400 samples from the most important sites in Europe.
Pallab Ghosh, a researcher from Oxford University said that a more specific dating method sheds new light on what happened when their two species first met, the BBC reported.
Prof Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London asserted that there would have been an economic competition between the Neanderthals and modern humans since they both were hunting the same animals, collecting the same plants and wanting to live in the best caves.
The study indicated that Neanderthals died out in Europe 10,000 years earlier than previously thought i.e. between 41,000 and 39,000 years ago.
The new dates also suggested that modern humans arrived in Europe several thousand years earlier than previously thought, possibly as early as 45,000 years ago.