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This (like all paleoanthropology...well...paleo anything) is under debate, and will be for some time to come.As far as *I* know, neanderthalensis evolved from Homo heidelbergensis in Europe and then spread into western Asia at the same time that sapien was evolving from erectus in Africa and spreading into the Middle East. Neanderthalensis is the perfect ice age dweller: shorter, dense, and ruggedly built (allows retention of body heat) with large nasal cavities to warm air before it passes into the lungs.
Have you bothered to read the literature on the genetic evidence linking the "species," Grasshopper?
Lastly, you didn't even bother with Wikipedia. You just opened your mouth, a FAUX PAS, minimally - for shame, for shame, for shame! (You will be chastised in the dungeon, and perhaps some extra time in the hole might help you out.)FYI, I quote Wiki - since you were too lazy to read it.
H. heidelbergensis, like its descendant H. neanderthalensis...
Homo erectus is probably the common ancestor for both H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis.
...at the same time that sapien was evolving from erectus...