Neanderthals and Rope

Guest: Bruce Hardy, Professor of Anthropology, Kenyon College 

From Barney Rubble to the dimwitted cavemen of The Far Side cartoons, Neanderthals have a reputation for being not-so-smart. But that may simply be because the best evidence of their smarts hasn’t survived for us to inspect and appreciate. For example, an excavation of a famous Neanderthal encampment in France has turned up a tiny shred of rope. Making and using rope is pretty advanced. If cavemen could actually do that, we’ll have to rethink the stereotype of stupidity.

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