Monday, 18 September 2017

Researchers reveal how Neanderthals made the first glue

SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
by Chuck Bednar
Long before modern man discovered the first glue, Neanderthals were using tar made from tree bark as an adhesive to craft weapons and other tools, according to a new study led by researchers from the Netherlands and published in a recent edition of the journal Scientific Reports.
In fact, as Ars Technica explained, lead investigator Paul Kozowyk, an archaeologist at Leiden University, and his colleagues found that Neanderthals were distilling tar for use in various tools as far back as 200,000 years ago, or 150,000 years before the first Homo sapiens even arrived in Western Europe!
According to Seeker, Kozowyk’s team analyzed archaeological evidence and conducted a series of experiments before determining that these archaic humans were able to invent tar and use it as an adhesive to affix handles to bone or stone tools, as well as to create improved spears and other types of weapons used for hunting.
The question is: how did they manage to pull off such a feat? After all, as Ars Technica pointed out, modern methods of tar production require it to be distilled at temperatures of 340 degrees to 370 degrees Celsius in a ceramic vessel – a difficult feat for the Neanderthals, given that ceramic was not even invented until approximately 20,000 years ago.

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