13:33 GMT29 July 2021
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    Although there is scientific evidence that members of Homo neanderthalensis made art, buried their dead, and had complex technology, it is believed that they were intellectually inferior to modern humans.

    An ancient string discovered at an archaeological site in south-eastern France has reignited debate on Neanderthals’ intellect. The chord was spotted in a cave on a stone tool. According to the study, conducted by a team of researchers from France, Spain and the United States, it dates back to 40,000-50, 000 years ago and is the oldest known evidence for string-making.

    ​The fragment is a three-ply cord made of inner bark from a conifer tree, which according to the scientists signifies that archaic humans had multi-component technology and understood the concepts of pairs, sets, and numbers. The finding implies that Neanderthals had a detailed ecological understanding of trees and how they can be used for production.

    The researchers say that this and other discoveries made in the past make the idea that Neanderthals were cognitively inferior increasingly untenable. "Given the ongoing revelations of Neanderthal art and technology, it is difficult to see how we can regard Neanderthals as anything other than the cognitive equals of modern humans", the study said.


    homo sapiens, Neanderthals, archaeology
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