National Geographic : 1996 Jan
The cutting edge Honing his skill at humankind's oldest craft, Mikel Aguirre flakes a flint knife in the deso late mountains of central Spain. Produced in four minutes, his razor-sharp cutting blade will be used to butcher a goat a lesson in ancient ingenuity he shares with students at his wilderness survival school. It was only in the waning days of the Neandertals' existence that more sophisticated blades "backed" to snugly fit the index finger (right, at top) began turning up in French rock-shelters. Personal decora tions, such as elk and wolf teeth, at bottom, also appeared late among the Neandertals innovations borrowed, perhaps, from the modern humans who would replace them.