Oldest Yarn Thread Fabric In History Has Been Discovered: An archeological dig in France has found what appears to be the oldest yard thread fabric recovered. The dig found a small bit of thread that was spun from plant fibers. The yarn material is about 0.24 inches or 6.2 mm long.
A uranium-series dating process found that the yarn is around 40,000 to 50,000 years old. The yarn is about twice as old as another fabric that was found in another site in Israel a few years earlier.
The discovery was made by people at Kenyon College studying an archeological site in France. The Abri du Maras site is a Neanderthal location and is one of the most consistent sites that people have been searching for items around.
The fabric came from a layer of tissue under the bark of a tree around the site. The fibers came from a conifer tree, possibly a pine tree. Charcoal and pollen traces from the area suggest that pine trees may have been around.
The yarn was built by a person who twisted some of these tree fibers together. Three separate bundles would be twisted together. They would then be bound together to produce a cord about 0.5 mm thick. The size is similar to a lace weight thread that people would use in modern knitting projects.
The fiber can also be soaked in water to help it become flexible. The water saturates the fiber to allow it to bend and move without breaking apart. It would also be easy to separate individual fibers from each other, thus allowing them to be gathered and bound for later use.
Details on how the yarn could have been used are unclear. An argument could be made that it would have held a tool or storage item. But by twisting the plant fibers, a user could produce clothing and other practical items for hunting or other actions.
Thoughts About Intelligence
The discovery also gives a feeling that Neanderthals might have understood many basic concepts surrounding construction and other actions. While many often associate them as being less evolved, they might have used threads like this to produce items. More importantly, they might have understood enough mathematics to recognize how they can create items.
Hands-on work with fabric could help people to figure out how counting and construction work. By counting items well enough, it becomes easier for people to note what they could do when building items.
More importantly, this may have also helped Neanderthals understand how to conserve items. While they might have the ability to produce such fibers, they only have a finite among of items to utilize. Therefore, they would have to conserve what they are using when figuring out what is right.
By working with such items, it would be easier for people to create items. Many may also use this development to come up with more advanced thoughts and ideas surrounding how they can produce other items that they could use for many other purposes they would hold.