New research conducted by Australian National University and the University of Sidney is providing a new window into the transition between Neanderthals to H. sapiens. Excavating in a cave in the Moravian region of the Czech Republic researchers have developed a timeline of evidence from 10 sediment layers spanning 28-50 kya. This is the period when it is generally believed that modern human ancestors first arrived in Europe.
20,000 animal bones have been recovered at the site along with stone tools, weapons, and an engraved bone bead believed to be the oldest of its kind every found in Central Europe. Dr. Duncan Wright (ANU) believes this project is highly important because it is providing some evidence for modern human activity in the area. During this time modern human ancestors were moving into the area and, I think, interbreeding with Neanderthals at least to some extent.
Dr Wright notes that prior to the 40 kya level we see stone flakes and other primitive tools but starting at the 40 kya level we find artifacts coming from long distances away including art objects such as the bead mentioned above. This bead is the oldest portable art object found anywhere in Central Europe. It provides evidence of social habits and the bead was likely part of a necklace used the mark the identity of the wearer.
So around 40 kya there was a distinct change in behavior and human migration and, I think, a significant change in species (ie: Neanderthal-modern human hybrids). So what this study is doing is providing us with some MORE evidence of interaction between modern humans and Neanderthals and that is fantastic!