Instead of dying out 200,000 years ago, the Acheulean culture overlapped more advanced technologies for about 100,000 years:
The Acheulean was estimated to have died out around 200,000 years ago but the new findings suggest it may have persisted for much longer, creating over 100,000 years of overlap with more advanced technologies produced by Neanderthals and early modern humans…
Acheulean stone tool technologies are the longest-lived cultural tradition practiced by early humans. Originating in East Africa 1.75 million years ago, handaxes and cleavers — the stone tool types which characterise the period — went on to be used across Africa, Europe and Asia by several different species of early human. Prior to this discovery, it was widely assumed that the Acheulean period ended between 300-150,000 year ago. However, the record was lacking in specific dates, and the timing of its demise has been heavily debated. The Kent and Czech team discovered that the tradition likely ended at different times around the world, varying from as early as 170,000 years ago in Sub-Saharan Africa through to as late as 57,000 years ago in Asia…
Dr Alastair Key, a Palaeolithic Archaeologist and the lead author of the study, said: “The earliest archaeological record will always be an incomplete picture of early human behaviour, so we know that the youngest known Acheulean sites are unlikely to actually represent the final instances of these technologies being produced. By allowing us to reconstruct these missing portions of the archaeological record, this technique not only gives us a more accurate understanding of when the tradition ended, but it gives us an indication of where we can expect to find new archaeological discoveries in the future.”University of Kent, “Neanderthal and early modern human stone tool culture co-existed for over 100,000 years” at ScienceDaily
Overlap between the two cultures for many thousands of years would make a lot of sense because the newer technologies may not have been self-evidently better. Many considerations of time, energy, and risk would need to be factored in.
See also: Researchers: Neanderthals could speak like other humans. Researchers: “Most previous studies of Neandertal speech capacities focused on their ability to produce the main vowels in English spoken language. However, we feel this emphasis is misplaced, since the use of consonants is a way to include more information in the vocal signal and it also separates human speech and language from the communication patterns in nearly all other primates.”
The paper is open access.