40,000 years back, Neanderthals created sticky tech for crafting better tools.

February 23, 2024
1 min read

TLDR: Neanderthals at the Mousterian site in France used a sticky, glue-like compound made of ochre and bitumen on tools 40,000 years ago, indicating advanced cognitive abilities and technological innovation

In a recent study led by Patrick Schmidt at the University of Tübingen, it was discovered that Neanderthals in Europe were using a multi-component adhesive made from ochre and bitumen to create stronger tools. This adhesive technology, previously associated with early Homo sapiens in Africa, demonstrates that Neanderthals were capable of complex behavior and forward planning, challenging previous notions about their cognitive abilities.

The research team found traces of the ochre-bitumen mixture on stone tools at the Le Moustier site, indicating that Neanderthals were skilled at creating adhesives to attach tools to handles or mold handles themselves. The discovery suggests that Neanderthals had similar cognitive processes to early Homo sapiens and highlights their innovative capabilities in tool-making.

This new evidence sheds light on the technological advancements and cultural evolution of Neanderthals, showcasing their ability to produce materials with specific properties through the use of compound adhesives. The study challenges traditional views of human evolution and emphasizes the similarities in cognitive processes between Neanderthals and early Homo sapiens.

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