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Did Neanderthals teach us tool-making ?

Posted on Wednesday, 14 August, 2013 | Comment icon 13 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: CC 2.0 Erich Ferdinand

 
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."

  View: Full article

 Source: New Scientist


  Discuss: View comments (13)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Junior Chubb on 14 August, 2013, 23:10
Yeah, those Geico commercials were giving them a bad name! Cheers Sundew, just been discovering the cave-man himself on YouTube.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 15 August, 2013, 3:29
Cheers Sundew, just been discovering the cave-man himself on YouTube. I wondered if it would translate to Britain! Your Star Wars avatar looks rather Bond-ish now. Shaken, not stirred.
Comment icon #6 Posted by coolguy on 15 August, 2013, 4:03
Iam sure they did make tools,they where not dumb they where around for a long time
Comment icon #7 Posted by dibatag on 15 August, 2013, 6:50
they did not die out there's lots of them here in OZ
Comment icon #8 Posted by Junior Chubb on 15 August, 2013, 9:51
I wondered if it would translate to Britain! Your Star Wars avatar looks rather Bond-ish now. Shaken, not stirred. They translate well. The avatar is 'Bond-ish' but its based on Lexan from Shufflepuck Cafe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shufflepuck_Caf%C3%A9#Popular_References
Comment icon #9 Posted by Parsec on 15 August, 2013, 18:42
Two Stone Age humans watch intently as their teacher works on a fragment of rib. With a final flourish the tool is complete, and one student moves in for a closer look. Communication is difficult in the absence of a common language. "Now you try," gestures the Neanderthal teacher. The scene may not be as far-fetched as it might seem. A team of archaeologists has found evidence to suggest that Neanderthals were the first to produce a type of specialised bone tool, still used in some modern cultures today. The find is the best evidence yet that we may have on rare occasions learned a trick o... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Timmeh on 16 August, 2013, 5:08
As far as H. sapiens learning from H. neanderthalensis its probably a big deal, but considering that the archaeological for hominis stared around 2.5 m.y.a. including bone tools and then stone tools about 2 m.y.a. well before either genus, its not that big a deal.
Comment icon #11 Posted by brlesq1 on 16 August, 2013, 12:48
Does this mean there was a common language between the two?
Comment icon #12 Posted by PersonFromPorlock on 18 August, 2013, 0:01
Lest we all be overcome with warm fuzzies, Kipling (in "Kaa's Hunting") has the monkey tribe forcing the kidnapped Mowgli to show them how people make things.
Comment icon #13 Posted by gatekeeper32 on 24 August, 2013, 5:30
With the amount of homeless and starving people in North America is there a point to even be concern about such a topic.


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