Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011, Article ID 689315, 16 pages
Research Article

Neanderthals versus Modern Humans: Evidence for Resource Competition from Isotopic Modelling

1Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Bioculturelle, UMR 6578 CNRS/Université de la Méditerranée/EFS, Faculté de Médecine-Secteur Nord, Université de la Méditerranée, CS80011 Bd Pierre Dramard, 13344 Marseille Cedex 15, France
2Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Préhistoire Europe Afrique (LAMPEA)-UMR 6636-MMSH 5, rue du Château de l’Horloge-BP. 647, 13094 Aix-en-Provence Cedex 2, France

Received 15 October 2010; Revised 20 March 2011; Accepted 18 July 2011

Academic Editor: John Gowlett

Copyright © 2011 Virginie Fabre et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During later MOIS3, in Europe two populations were present, autochthonous Neanderthals and modern humans. Ecological competition between these two populations has often been evoked but never demonstrated. Our aim is to establish whether resource competition occurred. In this paper, in order to examine the possibility of ecological competition between these two populations, 599 isotopic data were subjected to rigorous statistical treatment and analysis through mixing models. The aim of this paper was to compare dietary strategies of Neanderthals and modern humans over time. Our conclusions suggest that Neanderthals and modern humans shared dietary habits in the particular environmental context of MOIS3 characterised in Europe by climatic deterioration. In this environmental context, the resource competition between Neanderthals and modern humans may have accelerated the disappearance of the Neanderthal population.