India, Feb. 22 -- Ability to make multi-component adhesives could be first expressions of the modern cognitive processes that are still active today, researchers say

Liquid bitumen and the earth pigment ochre prior to mixing. Credit: Patrick Schmidt

Neanderthals were likely smart engineers. Our predecessors living in France devised their own multi-component glue, not very different from those prepared by modern humans in Africa, according to a new study published in Science Advances .

The glue was used as handles to manipulate several stone tools, such as scrapers, flakes, and blades. It was primarily made up of ochre and bitumen. While ochre is a naturally occurring earth pigment, bitumen is a component of asphalt and can be produced fr...