June 1, 2020

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Neanderthal cord weaver | EurekAlert! Science News

Picture: Photograph of the twine fragment taken by electronic microscopy (the fragment is around 6.2 mm extended and .five mm vast).
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Credit: © C2RMF

Contrary to well-known belief, Neanderthals ended up no significantly less technologically innovative than Homo sapiens. An intercontinental team, such as researchers from the CNRS, have learned the to start with proof of twine making, dating again extra than 40,000 yrs (1), on a flint fragment from the prehistoric website of Abri du Maras in the south of France (2). Microscopic investigation showed that these stays experienced been intertwined, evidence of their modification by human beings. Images exposed three bundles of twisted fibres, plied alongside one another to produce a single twine. In addition, spectroscopic investigation exposed that these strands ended up manufactured of cellulose, probably from coniferous trees. This discovery highlights unanticipated cognitive talents on the component of Neanderthals, who not only experienced a very good knowledge of the arithmetic included in winding the fibres, but also a extensive knowledge of tree development. These effects, printed on nine April 2020 in Scientific Studies, signify the oldest regarded evidence of textile and twine technological know-how to day.

The following laboratories contributed to this perform: Histoire naturelle de l’Homme préhistorique (CNRS/Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle/Université de Perpignan Via Domitia), De la molécule aux nano-objets : réactivité, interactions et spectroscopies (CNRS/Sorbonne Université), alongside with the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (ministère de la Society).

The excavations at the Abri du Maras have in distinct benefited from funding from the French Ministry of Society and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Archaeology Company.

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Notes:

(1) Neanderthals lived concerning 350,000 and 28,000 yrs BC.

(2) Archaeological website in southeastern France (Ardèche). The team led by Marie-Hélène Moncel has previously demonstrated that Neanderthals occupied this shelter.

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