Who were the Neanderthals?

Well, if you hail from any of the regions in Northern Asia, Central Asia or Europe, then Neanderthals were the species from which you have evolved. You cannot call term them as human beings completely, but neither can you term them as chimps. The best way to describe them would be as a passing phase between advanced chimpanzees and fully evolved human beings. To be speaking in such broad or generic terms is one thing, but providing a description by lieu of DNA analysis is a more appropriate method. Thanks to the advanced techniques like Radiocarbon Dating, it has become possible to unearth concrete evidence and understand the genetic makeup of Neanderthals vis-à-vis human beings.

Timeline and Locations

While Neanderthals remains have been excavated by archaeologists in several scattered locations across Eurasia, the most recent one was discovered 40,000 years ago. This implies that the last Neanderthals were seen on the face of the earth around 40,000 years back; some of them became extinct afterwards while others evolved into the Homo sapiens of Paleolithic Age as we know today. In the timeline of the Neanderthals, most anthropologists and archaeologists have more or less reached a consensus as far the end of their timeline is concerned. But the beginning of the Neanderthal timeline is where the speculation continues today. This is because fossils are the only form of staunch evidence (apart from the crude hunting tools that the Neanderthals are known to have used). Some of them claim they evolved from apes around 200,000 years ago, while other scientists estimate the beginning of their evolution timeline to be 350,000 years back, and yet another fragment of the anthropological community even takes the time zone back by 150,000 years, to make it a total of 500,000 years ago.