Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent for BBC News Science & Environment reports that –
 
The length of time modern humans (Homo sapiens) and Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) overlapped in Europe has been a keenly debated topic in recent times. A long overlap raises important questions about the extent to which we might have interbred with them, and possibly even contributed to their eventual demise.
 
Research published in 2011 indicated modern humans were living in the lands now known as Italy and the UK as far back as 41,000-45,000 years ago. This may have put them in contact with European Neanderthals who, according to previous dating studies, persisted on the continent for many millennia after these dates. On the Rock of Gibraltar, for example, it has been suggested that Neanderthals could possibly have hung around until as recently as 28,000 years ago before finally dying out.
 
Full story here.