Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

A molecular handle on the Neanderthals

The sequencing of mitochondrial DNA from Neanderthal fossil bone is a terrific achievement. Among the conclusions to be drawn from the data is that there was a period of more than 500,000 years during which Neanderthals and the line leading to modern humans evolved independently.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Distribution in time and space of the various human lineages that evolved from Homo ergaster (orange), the first expansion leading to the establishment and subsequent development of H. erectus lineages (green) in Asia and Southeast Asia.


  1. Stringer, C. & Gamble, C. In Search of the Neanderthals (Thames & Hudson, London, 1993).

  2. Trinkaus, E. & Shipman, P. The Neandertals (Cape, London, 1993).

  3. Krings, M. et al. Cell 90, 19-30 (1997).

  4. Gibbons, A. Science 27, 1331-1333 (1997).

  5. Wolpoff, M. & Caspari, R. Race and Human Evolution: A Fatal Attraction (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1997).

  6. Swisher, C. Science 274, 1870-1874 (1996).

  7. Poinar, H. N., Höss, M., Bada, J. L. & Pääbo, S. Science 272, 864-866 (1996).

  8. Handt, O., Krings, M., Ward, R. H. & Pääbo, S. Am. J. Hum. Genet. 59, 368-376 (1996).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ward, R., Stringer, C. A molecular handle on the Neanderthals. Nature 388, 225–226 (1997).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing