Outside of religious speculation, Neanderthals predate the arrival of Adam and Eve by hundreds of thousands of years. But there was an indication in the ancient Mesopotamian story of Adam and Eve, adopted by the Hebrews, that Cain feared people out in the world away from his parents tribe. God agreed with him.
Neanderthals or Neandertals UK /niˈændərˌtɑːl/, us also /neɪ/-, -/ˈɑːndər/-, -/ˌtɔːl/, -/ˌθɔːl/) (named after the Valley (=thal) of the Neander River area in Germany) were a species or subspecies of human in the genus Homo which became extinct between 40,000 and 28,000 years ago. They were closely related to modern humans, having DNA over 99.5% the same. Remains left by Neanderthals include bone and stone tools, which are found in Eurasia, from Western Europe to Central, Northern, and Western Asia. Neanderthals are generally classified by paleontologists as the species Homo neanderthalensis, having separated from the Homo sapiens lineage 600,000 years ago, or alternatively as a subspecies of Homo sapiens (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis).
Several cultural assemblages have been linked to the Neanderthals in Europe. The earliest, the Mousterian stone tool culture, dates to about 300,000 years ago. Late Mousterian artifacts were found in Gorham's Cave on the south-facing coast of Gibraltar.
Neanderthals had a higher volume to surface ratio, with shorter legs and a bigger body, compared to Homo sapiens because they inhabited higher latitudes, in conformance with Bergmann's rule, and their larger stature explains their larger brain size because brain size generally increases with body size. Their average cranial capacity of 1600 cm3, was notably larger than the 1250 - 1400 cm3 average for modern humans, indicating that their brain size was larger. Males stood 164–168 cm (65–66 in) and females 152–156 cm (60–61 in) tall.
The Neanderthal genome project published papers in 2010 and 2014 stating that Neanderthals contributed to the DNA of modern humans, including most non-Africans as well as a few African populations, through interbreeding, likely between 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. Recent studies also show that a few Neanderthals began mating with ancestors of modern humans long before the large "out of Africa migration" of the present day non-Africans, as early as 100,000 years ago. In 2016 research indicated that modern humans had three distinct interbreeding events with Neanderthals; the first encounter involved the ancestors of all non-African modern humans probably soon after leaving Africa, the second after the ancestral Melanesian group had branched off (and subsequently had a unique breeding event with Denisovans), and the third involving the ancestors of East Asians only.
In December 2013, researchers reported evidence that Neanderthals practiced burial behavior and intentionally buried their dead. In addition, scientists reported having sequenced the entire genome of a Neanderthal for the first time. The genome was extracted from the toe bone of a 50,000-year-old Neanderthal found in a Siberian cave.