Neanderthals were as technologically advanced as homo sapiens
His discovery is located at the Abri du Marais site, near the Ardèche river, in south-eastern France, where excavations have been carried out since 2006. EFE
Neanderthals, contrary to popular belief, were as technologically advanced as Homo sapiens say the authors of a study on a thread or cord made more than 40,000 years ago, the oldest found to date.
His discovery is located at the Abri du Maras site near the Ardèche river in south-eastern France, where excavations have been carried out since 2006.
Stone and bone tools, but not perishable materials, have so far been found in paleolithic sites, so knowledge of the Middle Paleolithic was based only on the analysis of these durable elements.
Experts in the Abri du Maras had already located some twisted fiber in stone tools, but conclusive evidence was lacking.
The new analysis, published this Thursday by the journal “Scientific Reports” and which has had the participation of researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), presents evidence of the oldest textile technology known at the moment and that it dates from between 41,000 and 52,000 years ago.
The earliest known textile fragments so far dated back between about 17,000 and 19,000 years.
The specimen that has shed new light on the capabilities of Neanderthals, which died out about 40,000 years ago, contains three bundles of fibers coiled and folded together to form a thread or cord and is about 6.2 millimeters long and a half millimeter Wide.
Although it has not been possible to completely determine its initial composition because it has been altered over time, its analysis with a spectroscope has revealed the presence of cellulose, probably from conifers.
In their article in “Scientific Report”, the researchers emphasize that the use of these fibers is “obvious” evidence of the knowledge that these Neanderthals had of the trees and of how to transform them into a different element.
The production of threads also requires working and mathematical memory as the structure of these strips becomes more complex, with multiple strips to form cords and interlocking cords to make knots.
Its elaboration requires “a cognitive complexity similar to that required by human language,” the study authors point out, for whom “the idea that Neanderthals were cognitively inferior to modern humans is increasingly unsustainable.”