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Modern humans outnumbered Neanderthals 10-1

A study of archaeological sites in France have led researchers to conclude that Neanderthals were outnumbered 10-1 by modern humans.

In their report published online today in Science, Mellars and French argue that each of these three demographic indicators can be considered independent measures of population numbers and should be multiplied together to estimate population differences. When they did so, the team concluded that modern humans came to outnumber Neandertals by a factor of nine or 10.

“These data imply that numerical supremacy alone must have been a powerful if not overwhelming factor” that allowed moderns to outcompete Neandertals, the team writes.

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Story: Michael Balter, Science Magazine | Photo: Nikola Solic/Corbis

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