Mammoth ivory tool used to make rope in Palaeolithic

A recent find of a Palaeolithic tool made of mammoth ivory causes speculations that it might have been used for production of rope and twine during the Paleolithic Era. The piece of ivory with carving was recovered by researchers from the University of Tübingen and the University of Liège.

Ivory artefact (by UPI)
Ivory artefact (by UPI)

The tool was made 40,000 years ago, around the time the first humans arrived in Europe. Analysis of the ivory suggests the carved notches weren’t simply for decoration but were for the explicit purpose of weaving plant fibers into rope.

The ivory artefact (by UPI)
The ivory artefact (by UPI)

Scientists have previously suggested similar ivory tools were used as shaft-straighteners. Others argued the carved ivory were pieces of art or musical instruments. The newly recovered ivory was better preserved than previous ivory artefacts, allowing scientists to more accurately test its utility for various tasks. Palaeontologist from Liège, Veerle Rots, stated that this tool answers the question of how rope was made in the Palaeolithic, a question that has puzzled scientists for decades.

(after United Press International)

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