View Full Version : 40,000 year old rope making tool discovered in Germany

24-07-16, 18:08

"Archaeologists excavating a cave in the Swabian Jura of southwestern Germany have found what they believe is a rope-making tool nearly 40,000 years old. The rope-making tool is a carefully carved and well-preserved piece of mammoth ivory.It was found in August 2015 in Hohle Fels Cave (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hohle_Fels) by Prof. Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen and his colleagues from Germany and Belgium.
The find is 8 inches (20.4 cm) long and has four holes 0.27-0.35 inches (7-9 mm) in diameter. Each of the holes is lined with deep and precisely cut spiral incisions.
“These elaborate carvings are technological features of rope-making equipment rather than just decoration,” the scientists said.
Similar finds in the past have usually been interpreted as shaft-straighteners, decorated artworks or even musical instruments. Thanks to the exceptional preservation of the Hohle Fels tool, the archaeologists have demonstrated that the artifact was used for making rope out of plant fibers available near the cave.
“This tool answers the question of how rope was made in the Paleolithic – a question that has puzzled scientists for decades,” said Dr. Veerle Rots from the University of Liège, Belgium.
Like the famous female figurines (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v459/n7244/full/nature07995.html) and flutes recovered from Hohle Fels, the rope-making tool dates to about 40,000 years ago, the time when anatomically modern humans arrived in Europe.

The scientists found the tool in the archaeological horizon Va, near the base of the Aurignacian deposits."



24-07-16, 18:56
Quite ingenious device indeed.