Dr Ruebens’ investigations uncovered new evidence that two separate handaxe traditions or designs existed — one in a region now spanning south-western France and Britain — the other in Germany and further to the East. In addition, she found an area covering modern day Belgium and the Netherlands that demonstrates a transition between the two.
She comments: “In Germany and France there appears to be two separate handaxe traditions, with clear boundaries, indicating completely separate, independent developments. “The transition zone in Belgium and Northern France indicates contact between the different groups of Neanderthals, which is generally difficult to identify but has been much talked about, especially in relation to later contacts with groups of modern humans. This area can be seen as a melting pot of ideas where mobile groups of Neanderthals, both from the eastern and western tradition, would pass by — influencing each other’s designs and leaving behind a more varied record of bifacial tools.”
Story: Science Daily | Photo: University of Southampton