New evidence suggests that Neanderthals may have taught our ancestors how to make some types of tools.
Neanderthals appeared in Europe around 200,000 years ago at around the same time as the first modern humans emerged in Africa. While the two species co-existed for thousands of years and shared many of the same skills, it is generally believed that Neanderthals obtained certain tool-making abilities from their human counterparts. The discovery of Neanderthal tools predating modern humans in Europe at two excavation sites in France however may be set to change all that.
Specialized bone tools designed to process animal hides appear to have been developed by Neanderthals before modern humans even arrived in Europe. Could it that our ancestors learned how to build these tools from their Neanderthal cousins ? "We've added a whole new component to Neanderthal behavior," said anthropologist Shannon McPherron.
"Other Neanderthal tools made of bone have all been shaped by chipping away bits of bone, much like stone tools are made."
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Source: New Scientist
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