At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/10/191016153642.htm … on the island of Naxos in the Aegean evidence has been found of Neanderthals – going back 200,000 years. The findings challenge long term views on human movements in the past, we are told. It seems 'scholars' believed Mediterranean islands were first occupied by early farmers, just 9000 years ago. The idea was that nobody previously had the boat handling and navigations skills required to reach those islands – even in the Cyclades. Why they assumed the current configuration of land and water in the Mediterranean has hardly changed in the last 10,000 years, let alone the last couple of hundred thousand years, is a product I supppose of being a scholar. They 'believed' that the Aegean Sea was a barrier to Neanderthals without consideration of sea level fluctuation – or any other change in the geoid. The authors of the new study say otherwise. They are suggesting that at certain times in the past, during the Ice Ages, there was a much lower sea level that exposed a land route between Europe and Asia and Europe and Africa (which puts a cat among the pigeons as far as Out of Africa purists are concerned). Evidence of Neanderthals comes from a quarry on Naxos – and they were accessing chert (a form of flint). Neanderthals may even have moved through the Mediterranean using boats as even with lower sea levels islands would still have existed.
For more information on the project on Naxos go to www.stelida.org/