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Neanderthals used plant fibers to create string more than 40,000 years ago at a site in France where they hunted reindeer, further evidence according to scientists of the ingenuity and cognitive capabilities of our closest extinct human relatives.

Researchers on Thursday described a string fragment — comprised of three small bundles of fibers twisted together into a cord — associated with a stone cutting tool that may have been used to skin animal carcasses.

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