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From Ancient Craft to Modern Marvel: 40,000 Years of Adhesive Technology Shaping Our World

Archaeological research highlights the significant role of adhesives in understanding early human cognitive evolution.

Ancient Adhesives and Cognitive Evolution

Archaeological research highlights the significant role of adhesives in understanding early human cognitive evolution. During the African Middle Stone Age, Homo sapiens innovatively combined natural sticky substances with ochre, bone fragments, and quartz to create adhesives with unique properties. This behavior indicates advanced cognitive processes, including innovative behavior, social learning, and the development of cumulative culture. Similarly, Neanderthals in Eurasia utilized natural adhesives and developed complex methods to produce tar, showcasing technological innovation and cultural transmission [1].


Recent Discoveries

Recent findings by researchers from the University of Tübingen have revealed the use of multi-component adhesives 40,000 years ago, marking a significant milestone in the understanding of prehistoric adhesive technology [1]. Historical uses of adhesives, from ancient Egyptian animal glues to industrial developments in the 19th and 20th centuries, reflect the ongoing cultural significance and technological evolution of adhesives [2].


Modern Adhesive Technologies and Sustainability

Today's research focuses on enhancing the sustainability of adhesive technologies, such as improving the industrial application of starch-based glues and optimizing the efficiency of adhesives and adhesive application methods to conserve resources and reduce energy consumption. Adhesives remain crucial in packaging industries for creating lightweight packaging solutions that reduce waste.


Invitation to Drupa 2024

The discussion on the future of adhesive technology and its sustainability will continue at Drupa 2024. Attendees are invited to visit the Baumer hhs booth in Hall 6, A30 to discuss your expectations and adhesives' evolving role in the packaging industries.


Thomas Walther

Corporate Strategy & Innovation Baumer hhs


[1] Patrick Schmidt et al., Ochre-based compound adhesives at the Mousterian type-site document complex cognition and high investment.Sci. Adv.10,eadl0822(2024).DOI:10.1126/sciadv.adl0822


[2] Onusseit, H. (2012). Adhesive Technology: Basic Principles. Österreich: Beuth Verlag GmbH.