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Abstract

The disappearance of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis at the end of the Middle Paleolithic has evoked a plethora of explanations, ranging from carefully supported theories to bizarre or romantic speculation. The processes by which the Neanderthals were replaced by anatomically modern humans occurred in a relatively short interval of time, and have been obscured by a wide variety of disturbances. A review of some of the inferences drawn by various researchers tentatively suggests a combination of in situ technological and morphological evolution in the Near East with movement of Upper Paleolithic genes and technology into Europe.

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