From Jordana Cepelewicz at Quanta:
Now, however, researchers led by Alan Rogers, an anthropologist and population geneticist at the University of Utah, have proposed a new genetic model that may reconcile those differences. It concludes that Neanderthals were more numerous than previous genetic studies often supposed, perhaps finally aligning genomic findings with the larger populations extrapolated from artifacts and fossils. It also fills in more of the Neanderthals’ evolutionary history between when they first separated from our ancestors in Africa and when they began to encounter modern humans again during the latter’s own diaspora. In many respects, Neanderthals may have been much more successful as a species — and more like us — than we have usually credited.
Yup. But there is a story in why we needed Neanderthals to be few and dumb.
See also: Neanderthal technology was hardly dumb
Neanderthal Man: The long-lost relative turns up again, this time with documents
A deep and abiding need for Neanderthals to be stupid. Why?