Archaeologists have found the world's oldest piece of string. They are very happy about this. One reason is the string is around 50,000 years old. The second reason is the string shows that an early species of humans called Neanderthals were more intelligent than we thought. Neanderthals became extinct about 35,000 years ago but the string shows they had a good understanding of plants and textiles. The Neanderthals may have used the string to make clothes, bags, rope, mats and other things. They were probably as intelligent as modern humans.
The piece of string is tiny but it shows a lot about how people lived 50,000 years ago. A researcher said: "We were able to uncover details about the fibres and we observed that they're different, twisted fibres. It is not possible to find these kinds of fibres in nature." She added that in her opinion, the Neanderthals had the ability to make rope. She also said they knew many things about trees. They also knew about vegetables, plants and trees. The researcher said the Neanderthals had the intelligence, "to use different parts of the environment".