Tie game: Ancient bit of string shows Neanderthal handiwork

NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists have found the first direct evidence that Neanderthals could make string. A white splotch on a Neanderthal stone tool turned out to be a tiny length of string, made by weaving together bundles of fiber from the inner bark of trees. Researchers reported Thursday that the discovery is about 40,000 to 50,000 years old. It comes from the Rhone River valley of southeastern France. Nobody knows what the string was used for, and it may not even have been originally attached to the stone cutting tool.  But it hints at other possible abilities like making bags and fabric.