The Neanderthals made a glue out of birch bark to stick tools together; new studies confirm that they were smart.
The term Neanderthal was wrong, this should put it to rest.
When we talk about early technologies that allowed humans to master their environment, we usually think of fire or the wheel, but glue-making is more obvious.
By making it possible to stick components of tools together, it helped our ancestors survive in otherwise impossible circumstances and eventually turn them to their needs.
Similarly, tanned tar makers made the same material from birch trees long before modern humans invented their own adhesives.
This can tell us about their intelligence and society.
Dr. Paul Kozowyk of the Delft University of Technology leads a team trying to work out the stages Neanderthahs must have gone through to make tar, and how they made it.
He uses several different techniques to make the tar, including the condensation technique, which involves scraping