Scientists from Russia announced in the newspaper, that it was 40, 000 years ago that the powerful volcano struck Neanderthals in Europe.
The eruption caused a "volcanic winter", which has proved fatal for the Neanderthals.
Modern humans have survived because at that time they lived in Africa and Southwest Asia, away from the reach of volcanic ash clouds.
Neanderthal is an extinct man that lived in Europe and western Asia in the era of the middle Paleolithic (130, 000 to 14, 000 BC). Until recently, Neanderthals have been regarded as subspecies of Homo sapiens and have been classified under the name, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis.
According to modern scientists, Neanderthals are materially different from modern man, with whom he has developed in parallel as a separate species. The two types of people likely shared a common ancestor, but Neanderthal does not fit into any evolutionary theory as a direct ancestor of modern man.
Researchers found deposits of volcanic dust in the cave in the Caucasus, which showed that Neanderthals were overtaken by an ecological disaster.
Among the deposits were very small plants. The disappearance of plants has been disastrous for the large mammals as they were the main food for the Neanderthals.
The scientist's team analyzed layers in the cave and discovered two types of volcanic ash which corresponded to two separate eruptions 45, 000 and 40, 000 years ago.
The first of the two eruptions was in the territory of the Caucasus and was weaker. The second, however, was very strong and was in what is now southern Italy.See more