The article entitled “Neandertals made the first specialized bone tools in Europe” was written by Soressi et al in August 2013. In this essay we refer to the article by discussing the use of tools with Neanderthals that were discovered. There will be a description of the article summarizing the location, age, and use of lissoirs, the experiment that took place to determine the use, and the different conclusions we can take from that information. Then I will expand on that by stating my position on these ideas and theories.
Four lissoirs, specialized bone tools that are predicted to have been used to soften dry hide, were found in the area of the Dordogne River in southwest France. These tools were believed to be used during the Middle Paleolithic epoch. Researchers concluded that the preservation of the tools were in good shape and were able to be examined to find sufficient evidence to determine the possible use of the tools.
These tools are made up of rib bones of red deer or reindeer. The bone’s tip was a uniform roundedness, and in parallel to that was a break. It is likely that the smooth and round characteristics are due to abrasive force against a soft material. Markings were observed on the end and edges for each tool, some stretched, whereas some are shorter and less prominent. As the patterns moved away from the tip, they became less detailed and unnoticeable. Researchers and scientists have experimented to find the most likely common use of the lissoirs. In order to find this, they attempted to replicate the tool and test different uses that would show evidence that matched the markings of the originals. A medium sized herbivore bone that had a similar shape and size to the lissoir was used. The determined use was answered through smoothing dry hide, using a repetitive motion on the edge of the tool in contact with the hide. This action produced parallel damage to the tool: similar patterns of striations, scratches and also the smoothness.