Neanderthal string ...

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Neanderthal string ...

1alaudacorax
apr 15, 2020, 5:36am

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52267383

I'm particularly intrigued by this one. First thought in my head was of a group of Neanderthals sitting round twisting string. Then I thought that's got to be a boring job, would they have sung songs (perhaps a special string-twisting chant) or told stories to help things along? And there would be a whole culture, right there, that we're (probably) never going to know.

2dougb56586
Redigeret: apr 20, 2020, 2:48am

I looked on the internet for reports of similar discoveries, and could not not find very much. One site that said the earliest known use of rope was 28,000 years ago:

How Rope is Made: History...

Of course, the earliest date must be very uncertain, because of how perishable these kind of materials are. But Neanderthals are believed to have become extinct about 40,000 years ago, so the date of this find is probably not in question, if it is really a Neanderthal site.

The authors said this implied that the Neanderthals “understood concepts like pairs, sets and numbers.”. I think that’s too speculative: other species can make complex objects without needing the intellectual skills of humans beings. However, it would be interesting to know if chimpanzees have this ability or can be taught it. They are given credit for using simple tools, but I don’t know if anyone ever successfully taught one to perform a task like weaving string, rope, etc. Is this an ability unique to humans and (formerly) Neanderthals?

3stellarexplorer
maj 16, 2020, 12:56am

>2 dougb56586: I’m not sure what the author really intends by the phrase “understood concepts”. It sounds like the claim that performing an act is tantamount to understanding it. As if an artist necessarily understands deeply the full underlying implications of their art. But that strong a claim seems dubious.