Neanderthals have discovered a "technology" previously thought to be available only to Homo sapiens
Until now, science has assumed that one of the key differences between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens, who coexisted in Europe tens of thousands of years ago, was the former's lack of tools. However, new research calls this assumption into question.
As the publication SciTechDaily writes, an international research team found at the parking lot of Neanderthals She-Pinot-Jonzac in France traces of their use of human-like technologies. The research here has been conducted since 2019 and showed that bone tools among the traces of Neanderthal activity are as common as flint tools.
The scientists were also surprised by their diversity. They found bone slicing tools, scrapers, chisels, and grinders for a variety of activities and for processing a multitude of materials.
The implements were identified by marks of manufacture and use on the surface. They were also examined using X-ray microtomography. It turned out that the technology of making tools in Neanderthals was different. While Homo sapiens rubbed and scraped bones to get the objects they wanted, Neanderthals made their tools by hitting the material.
The discovery of bone tools at She-Pino-Jonzak agrees with the evidence uncovered a few years earlier by the same team at the Neanderthal Chagir site in the Siberian Altai. These two sites are on opposite sides of the Neanderthal settlement range. But they testify that both species made and used bone tools for their daily needs. Both were skilled at working bone, but used slightly different methods to do so. Scientists suggest that they still have a number of secrets of Neanderthal technology ahead of them to uncover.
It is known that about 45,000 years ago in Western Europe began to appear anatomically modern people. They coexisted with Neanderthal groups for a while and then displaced them. During this period, Homo sapiens began making material culture objects, particularly various bone implements ranging from hunting tools and decorative jewelry to elaborate carved figurines.
For a long time, scientists believed that Neanderthal groups simply did not know how to make bone implements and were limited to flint. And only used bones to work flint. New finds put this theory into question.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told about the discovery of scientists, which questioned the low organization of groups of Neanderthals. Fresh discoveries show that they were more evolved than they were believed about them until now.