The area which gave rise to the name Neanderthal will run out of public funding for archaeology in two years - North Rhine-Westphalia state government is phasing out its financial support
The region is riddled with the remains of all sorts of ancient societies and attracts archaeologists from around the world.
With Roman settlements along the River Rhine and as the region where Neanderthals were discovered, and thus named after, NRW has long been a source of learning about our predecessors.
But this could soon die out, as the Der Spiegel news magazine reported on Thursday that the state government plans to cut its funding each year until 2015, when there will be nothing left at all. Read more.