made few tools out of bone, including needles


Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
But the Neanderthals, in spite of their accomplishments, were not entirely modern in their behavior. They made few tools out of bone, including needles, even though they must have made clothes from pelts. They buried their dead simply, and they left almost no traces of symbolic behavior such as art. They rarely ate fish or shellfish, even though these were abundant in some of the habitats in which Neanderthals lived.
(The Story of the Human Body; Daniel Lieberman)

Would you be so kind as to tell me whether it means that they did not make needles?

  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    No, it simply says that they didn't make very many needles (not as many as they would presumably have needed if they systematically used them when making clothes)


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's not very clear. Up to that point ('including needles'), I would take it as meaning "among the few tools they made were needles; needles were one of the few". But I would be wondering whether it meant they didn't make needles. ('Few' is negative, so you would more commonly expect 'including' after positive 'a few'). The next clause, saying they must have made clothes: well, is it saying they made clothes without needles? I suppose Glasguensis is right, but it doesn't come simply out of what's written.
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