A cave in Italy has given up one particularly fascinating gift: A skeleton containing the oldest Neanderthal DNA ever discovered.
Scientists studying the ancient skeleton have dated the molecules found within to about 130,000 to 170,000 years ago.
Anyone who thinks the hashtag character is recent didn't know the Neanderthals. Recent discoveries in the British territory of Gibraltar have uncovered stone carvings resembling either "tic-tac-toe" or the proverbial hashtag character itself.
On examining 50,000-year-old human excrement, geoarchaeologists have figured out that our Neanderthal ancestors were probably omnivorous, or vegetarian. The remains were found at the El Salt Neanderthal site in Alicante in eastern Spain.
Scientists have found very little evidence to suggest modern humans are superior to their Neanderthal ancestors. The research team argues that the stereotype of the primitive Neanderthal is now gradually eroding.
An international team of scientists have successfully sequenced the Neanderthal genome, and the evidence shows that humans in Europe, Asia and Papua New Guinea carry Neanderthal genes - while African peoples are 100 percent human.
Homo sapiens may have been responsible for butchering Neanderthals in the Stone Age. Evidence for this theory has been found on a jawbone in France. The bone was covered in cut marks similar to those found when humans stripped the flesh from animals.