Free trade may have finished off Neanderthals

This one for all the free-market lovers out there:

Modern humans may have driven Neanderthals to extinction 30,000 years ago because Homo sapiens unlocked the secrets of free trade, say a group of US and Dutch economists. The theory could shed new light on the mysterious and sudden demise of the Neanderthals after over 260,000 years of healthy survival.

3 thoughts on “Free trade may have finished off Neanderthals”

  1. “…sudden demise of the Neanderthals after over 260,000 years of healthy survival.”

    I’d swear some survive in isolated pockets, working in DART stations.

  2. Forgive me for skepticism, but I am not convinced that the classification of Neandertal is so clear cut. The explanation is very good though, as trade would have depended on sophisticated links and swift transport. Horses were domesticated a little later than this, but inaccuracy in this field is endemic as a result of scarcity of information.
    Unfortunately another point arises: even if Neandertals existed as a sererate species, why would they have been starved out? Weapons manufacture is a big trade these days. Technical superiority means extinction awaits mismatched enemies. The Vikings and Normans proved this, with their steel. How about trade bringing diseases? Rats from China were blamed for the Black Death after all.
    All is speculation, alas.

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