Neanderthals died out 15,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new research at the University.
Since the 1990s, scholars have believed that the Neanderthals died out 35,000 years ago after taking refuge in southern Iberia, known as Spain today. However new evidence has cast doubt on the theory, with fossilised bones from sites in the region suggesting that the fossils may be 15,000 years older than previous tests showed.
The work may have implications for whether Neanderthals and modern humans co-existed, as humans are not believed to have inhabited the area until 42,000 years ago.
The research was undertaken by Dr Rachel Wood and Professor Thomas Higham and has been published in the early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences.