Welcome to Times Will Tell, the weekly podcast from The Times of Israel. This week, ToI published an article about a fascinating study that pinpoints when and where early modern man met up with their Neanderthal cousins — 50,000 years ago in the Negev Desert.
This is the first study that provides scientifically gathered and analyzed evidence for the coexistence of the two prehistoric cultures in the Middle East.
According to the study, it is during this time period and in this area that the ancestors of modern humans may have bred with their Neanderthal neighbors, resulting in a lasting Neanderthal genetic fingerprint even after the species itself died out.
The multi-disciplinary study was authored by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Weizmann Institute and draws on high-tech carbon-14 dating, alongside the discovery of material culture excavated by IAA prehistorian Dr. Omry Barzilai at the Boker Tachtit site in the Negev.
In addition to discussing the new study, this week on Times Will Tell, Barzilai explains his path into the world of prehistoric archaeology and helps put a human face on early man, who he firmly believes was a lot like us.