Neanderthals were more technologically advanced than we thought. An international team of researchers working at the Chez Pinot Neanderthal site in Jonzac, France, has found evidence that Neanderthals knew how to make weapons and tools from silicon and bone. The findings, published in PLOS ONE, shed new light on little-known aspects of Neanderthal technology.
Until now, it was thought that only Homo sapiens had the technology to turn animal bones into tools. However, a discovery made at a Neanderthal site questions this theory. For the first time, bone tools made by Neanderthals were found. And the large number of such items indicates that the weapons and tools from animal bones Neanderthals produced almost on an industrial scale. Previously, no bone tools were found at the sites of this extinct hominid species.
Bone tools can be identified by traces of manufacture and use present on their surface as well as inside the tools themselves using X-ray microtomography. Unlike the specimens of tools made by modern humans, which were usually formed by scratching and abrasion, these tools were mainly made by impact techniques.
Researchers have found a wide variety of tools, including multifunctional tools. Ancient knives, scrapers and even weapons for hunting have also been found. Moreover, the tools were designed for working different materials. This indicates that Neanderthals not only possessed the secrets of making tools and weapons from bones, but also had a unique technology, different from that of Homo sapiens.
The discovery of the “bone industry” at She-Pino-Jonzac indicates that, just like modern humans, Neanderthals made and used bone tools for their daily needs. And it was their know-how to process animal bones using their own methods. The bone tools found represent a new tool for studying and understanding Neanderthal technology.
This discovery raises many questions about how much we know about Neanderthals and their technology. We may have underestimated their intellectual abilities and technological capabilities. As one of the authors of the study notes, “This is a very important discovery that could change the way we think about Neanderthals.
Interestingly, Neanderthals used animal bones not only for making weapons and tools, but also for other purposes. For example, they may have used bones to make toys or jewelry. This indicates that Neanderthals were not only technologically advanced, but also had cultural traditions.
The study of Neanderthal technology can also help to study the evolution of Homo sapiens. We can learn more about what technology was available to our ancestors and how it evolved over time. In addition, this discovery can help to combat racism and prejudice. Neanderthals were our closest relatives, and we can learn a lot about our own history by studying their technology and culture.