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40,000 year old tool of mammoth ivory

Scientists discovered that the mysterious ivory piece found in Germany was the tool used to make a rope in the Old Stone Age.

Mammoth ivory tool with 4 small holes engraved spiral groove. Photo: Guardian.

Nicholas Conard’s team, director of the Archeology Institute at the University of Tübingen, began to explore the Hohle Fels cave, Swabian Jura mountain range, Germany, since 2008. During their research, they discovered an ivory tool 40,000 years old mammoth, 20 cm long, with 4 holes with delicate spiral engravings.

The purpose of the tool was a mystery until Veerle Rots, an expert on Paleolithic materials at Liege University, embarked on the experiment, Guardian reported on August 1. Previously, some opinions suggested that this was part of a musical instrument or object of religious significance.

Rots made a bronze simulation of an ivory tool, then threaded the vegetable fiber through the holes. As a result, he obtained four twisted ropes that could be used to braid it into a rope. “This tool reveals how to build ropes in the Stone Age, a problem that scientists had puzzled over for decades,” Rots said.

In the Stone Age, the ancients threaded the plant fiber through four small holes and then braided it to form a firm rope. The etched lines around the hole help keep the vegetable fibers in place. The ropes can then be used to make fishing nets, traps, bows and arrows, clothes and food containers. Ropes also helped the ancients pull heavy objects such as sleds or tie the spear point to the handle.

“Many people pay great attention to the ability to make specialized stone tools and use fire, seeing these as the key successes of prehistoric Homo sapiens. But in many respects, the ability to make strings.” Ropes from animal tissue and plant fibers were also breakthroughs in that period. This opened up new ways to exploit the natural world, from basket making to making bow and arrow, “said Professor Chris. Stringer at London’s Natural History Museum said.

British scientists also found some similar tools in Gough cave, Somerset, made of reindeer horn. These tools are about 15,000 years old, which means they are later made of ivory mammoth tools in the Hohle Fels cave. Their presence in the Gough cave, one of the farthest northwestern places of Europe where Homo sapiens lived in the Paleolithic period, suggests that rope making evolved and became an essential part. in human life.

(According to Guardian)

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