Archaeologists Find 40,000-Year-Old Rope-Making Tool in Germany

Archaeologists excavating a cave in the Swabian Jura of southwestern Germany have found what they believe is a rope-making tool nearly 40,000 years old.The rope-making tool is a carefully carved and well-preserved piece of mammoth ivory.

It was found in August 2015 in Hohle Fels Cave by Prof. Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen and his colleagues from Germany and Belgium.

The find is 8 inches (20.4 cm) long and has four holes 0.27-0.35 inches (7-9 mm) in diameter. Each of the holes is lined with deep and precisely cut spiral incisions. Thanks to the exceptional preservation of the Hohle Fels tool, the archaeologists have demonstrated that the artifact was used for making rope out of plant fibers available near the cave.