As humans were first migrating out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago, Neanderthals were still living in Eurasia. It seems our ancestors hit it off, leaving a small trace of these ancient relatives in my DNA.
My maternal ancestors left Africa and settled around southeastern Europe. They then expanded north into the rest of Europe. They survived by hunting and finding wild food sources. In Europe, they met with those who were already there and formed new cultures that are reflected in the archaeological record. Thus, my cousins played an important role in the history of Europe.
My paternal ancestors left Africa and moved north through western and Central Asia. They then turned west and crossed the grasslands of southern Russia into Europe. There, they eventually drove the Neanderthals to extinction, though they did interbreed with them. Living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, my early ancestors set the stage for later European history.