Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Evidence for Neanderthal manufacture of leatherworking tools

The lissoir tool as used to burnish hides.
Credit: Abri Peyrony and Pech-de-l'Aze projects
There is considerable controversy about the social abilities and cultural achievements of Neanderthals.  In western European sites, tools and ornaments have been found in Neanderthal contexts, but it was not clear if these items were indigenous to the Neanderthals or somehow learned from anatomically modern humans. In today's PNAS, Sorressi et al.  report bone tools for burnishing hides, excavated from Neanderthal sites dating to before the arrival of anatomically modern humans. These new finds thus strengthen the the argument that Neanderthals had their own toolmaking culture.

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