Re: Did the Neanderthals have nets?

Jois wrote:
"A." <atalanta.brilliante@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message

Jois wrote:
"Chip Flintnapper" <nobody@xxxxxxx> wrote in message
johnwl4@xxxxxxx wrote:

Jois wrote:
"Day Brown" <daybrown@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Any evidence of rope?

String seems to have appeared with AMH and rope had to even later


Hi, Jois,
Personally, I find it hard to believe that very early man, and
possible hominims, wouldn't have noticed that sinews along the back
be stripped off to make a string or rope to bundle something up with
hold down branches for a hut of sorts. When might braiding been
invented? Or twisting the split sinew into a string? Probably
know - Certainly not the earliest use.
According to Earnest Thomson Seton (not the best source), the
Indians used the bark of the leatherwood bush as cord, since it can
stripped off easily, and is very tough. Wasn't there an
impression in clay of something that looked like a net, found in
Like Mark Twain, my memory is going - pretty soon I'll only be able
remember things that never happened.
John GW

Hemp is a more likely candidate, either chewed or rock-beaten.

Isn't hemp a crop? Not something you find hanging around in large wet
(for example):

"Wild hemp still grows on the banks of the lower Ural, and the Volga,
the Caspian Sea. It extends to Persia, the Altai range and northern and
western China. The authors of the Pharmacographia say: - "It is found in
Kashmir and in the Himalaya, growing io to 12 ft. high, and thriving
vigorously at an elevation of 6000 to io,000 ft." Wild hemp is, however,
very little use as a fibre producer, although a drug is obtained from

"It would appear that the native country of the hemp plant is in some
of temperate Asia, probably near the Caspian Sea. It spread westward
throughout Europe, and southward through the Indian peninsula."

Seems like no body invents anything until it is needed

That's pushing it a bit, Jois. Sometimes, even when something is
no one invents it - for one thing.

Are you trying to say that Neanderthal was content with its health,
and the deeds it had to do to obtain protein? It had no need of nets?

I'm not really used to these kind of arguments. I'd like to see what's been
published and what people who have the knowledge have to say about the
topic. to me that is much better than what you think I'm trying to say.
Who knows what the Neanderthals thought? Ick. What a question. There is
nothing to indicate they used nets. There have been some indications that
they killed the larger animals for food, not the smaller animals that would
make a net come in handy

Well, the evidence for nets is thin, even for h.s.s. in its early
period. As I understand it, it's based on microscopic analysis of tiny
amounts of fossilized plants found in netlike patterns in certain
Gravettian sites. The site has to be undisturbed, and when I looked at
the data for the nets, it look like they scraped off the soil in 1 x 1
mm sections, carefully gridded, and then tried to find plant
distributions that indicated string knot string knot in sequences
thought to represent nets.

Furthermore, there's not a lot of that research. So many of the
Neanderthal sites have been dug out or disturbed - long ago - it's
going to be awhile before "net research" - especially from Russia, I
think - gets done.

As far as I know, the earliest preserved bits of twine/rope are only
18-20,000BP (and associated of course with h.s.s.) whereas the
microscopic analysis for nets (thin as it is) puts nets for h.s.s. at
24-26,000, with evidence for string itself at 28,000BP. I haven't
checked these dates in a few months. If Neanderthal had nets, then,
Neanderthal would have had them far earlier than h.s.s. It's possible.
I'd love to be updated on the subject.

The other evidence for nets, of course, are the nets depicted on the
heads of figurines in the Gravettian - and I am going to check the
dates on those. I know that Gregory Bateson, remarking on
similar-looking nets in New Guinea, compared their value to "a
Steinway," saying they took so much to construct.

First, they had to make the twine - which I've learned to do, more or
less, myself - but am still not satisifed with the results (I've used
hemp and yucca - I use the pounding method). Then they had to do those
systematic knots.

In the American southwest/Great Basin, some people circa 1800 were
making exceedingly long nets (well, lots of smaller nets hooked
together according to how many people they had with nets to hook
together), each one roughly the shape of a tennis court net - but they
were fairly crude compared to the New Guinea ones and meant to be more
disposable (made of yucca and not always entirely of what I'd call
string) - but still, of knotted cord and used for rabbits.

At any rate, my view of Neanderthal net use would be that there was
none - until we find evidence of them, especially if we're going to
exclude arguments from "mental capacity" - which I agree is futile
except as a thought experiment about our nature. I'd be interested to
know where and in what situations Neanderthal would have encountered
plantlife suitable for twine/cord making and whether any other evidence
of the kinds of tasks accomplished by string/twine are present among

For example, did Neanderthal have cradleboards? What kind? Did they
have drills and bores? What's the evidence for making leather thongs,
for Neanderthal? Did they have awls and punchers?

Thing is - what usually happens, is someone invents something (whether
themselves *needed* it more is subject to controversial, as it involves
that person's mental states) and then others adopt it - rapidly. It
sure looks as
though people "needed" sunglasses in many places in the world - even
they never invented them. I wonder if you think that, if we withheld
such goods
as immunizations or sunglasses from folks, that they would all "invent"
on their own - and at what rate?

Interesting but not very helpful.

Not sure what you're wanting "help" with - it was you, I think, who
brought up the "necessity is the mother of invention" point - it was my
point, back to you, that such a vague statement is, indeed, worth
almost nothing in interpreting why and when innovations come into a

The story of string, rope, netting, hemp, fiber drafts and so on is far
more complex than simply "necessity is the mother of invention."
There are precedents to inventing nets, one of which is learning to
spin/twist twine/string.


And it's my understanding, having look at fiber crafts in several
localities outside
of Europe, that many different plants work pretty well - but that hemp
(wild or not)
works very well.

You should complain to the people who wrote this since you disagree about the value of
wild hemp as a fiber producer. But you don't have to look at Europe for the
origins of string - it came out of Africa with AMH.

In what way did I disagree with them? First of all, their site doesn't
come up on my browser - but are they experts in paleo-hemp? In that
case, what's their evidence for the domestication of hemp? Doesn't
hemp tend to go native in many environments - if in fact it's a
domesticate? It sure grows in the American southwest in the places
where people have planted it, long after it appears to have been
abandoned by anyone who has an interest in watering it or trying to
keep it alive.

Does anyone know whether hemp is truly domesticated or merely a
How many alleles, in other words, difference between the wild and
strains? Any good new definitions of "domesticated" out there?

Check with goggle!

Well - I will, when I get to the point of researching your view that
wild vs. domestic hemp makes a difference - which would be when I have
a clear idea what plants were used in early string production, and some
sense of where you're getting your data that string appears as early as
100,000 or 60,000 - or earlier, if you're claiming A.H.S. brought it
out of Africa. If it was A.H.S. - then of course, you're arguing that
string was made before, say, 100,000 - right? What's the evidence on
that, I'm not challenging you personally - I'd just like to know. I'm
writing something that refers to the String Revolution and if there's
substantial disagreement over when it happened - I'd like to see what
the arguments are.