Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 5-11-2011

Major Department or Program



Suzanne Morissey


The goal of this thesis is to analyze archaeological evidence for cultural, physical, and genetic interactions between early modern humans and coexisting Neandertal populations and use the conclusions drawn from these analyses to determine whether or not Neandertals and modern humans had the ability to interbreed with each other. The conclusion I propose is that Neandertals and modern humans did indeed have the capacity to interbreed with each other, although the extent to which this interbreeding occurred cannot be determined with what evidence we have. A more definitive conclusion as to the extent of interbreeding between these two populations requires the discovery of additional physical and genetic evidence that can be analyzed and compared to what we have now.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Breeding -- Interbreeding, Human beings, Neanderthals, Human-Neanderthal encounters, Human evolution, Homo erectus, Hominid - Sexual behavior, Human physiology, Evolution (Biology), Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2011 -- Anthropology Department

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Public Accessible Thesis

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Anthropology Commons



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