According to groundbreaking archaeological evidence, Neanderthals and early humans are now believed to have inhabited Naxos 200,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought.
A team of US, Canadian and Greek archaeologists announced in 2021 the discovery of stone tools on the island of Naxos which have been proven to go back at least 200,000 years. Naxos is a Cycladic Greek island located in the very middle of the Aegean Sea.
The tools, according to the team of Tristan Carter of McMaster University, demonstrate that somehow, both Neanderthals and early humans found a way to reach this island — and stayed there for some time.
Neanderthals were an extinct species of the genus Homo that inhabited Europe, the Near East, the Middle East and Central Asia, between 230,000 and 40,000 years before the present, during the late Middle Pleistocene and almost all of the Upper Pleistocene.
Paleogenetic studies indicate a common origin for modern humans and Neanderthals, as well as hybridizations between the two hominin species, in at least two places and times: the Near East and Western Europe.