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Thread: Neanderthals’ relatives climbed an erupting volcano 350,000 years ago

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    Neanderthals’ relatives climbed an erupting volcano 350,000 years ago

    A new study says footprints in volcanic rock probably belong to Homo heidelbergensis.

    Roccamonfina volcano, about 60km northwest of Vesuvius, erupted violently around 350,000 years ago. Pyroclastic flows—deadly torrents of hot gas and volcanic ash—raced down the sides of the mountain. But within a few days, a small group of hominins trekked across the layer of ash and pumice that covered the steep mountainside. Recent analysis and some newly identified prints suggest that the intrepid (or reckless) hominins may have been Homo heidelbergensis who lived and hunted near the volcano.

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