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Mousterian of Eastern Europe



Stone tools of the Neanderthals

While in the Middle Palaeolithic the tradition of hand axes produced directly from cores continues here and there, tools of formalised shapes, (mainly various side scrapers and hand points) predominate. The simplest and the predominant method of obtaining these tools (eg in the Micoquian circa 70 000 BP and the immediately preceding Taubachian, circa 100 000 BP) was shown by the jagged edges of the zig-zagged margins of the disc-shaped and irregular cores left behind.

Knapping to obtain a more precise shape was achieved by the so-called Levallois technique., which required considerable precision and foresight. The earlier method involved a great deal of material consumption and an uncertainty of the result, whereby it was difficult to obtain a roughly predictable shape.

The complicated but ultimately successful technique, however, disproves the skeptical view that the Neanderthals were incapable of conceptual thinking.


Text above translated and adapted from signage in the Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic.



flint tools
In Western Europe, small hand axes of triangular shape appeared with the Neanderthals.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic




flint tools flint tools


flint tools

Hand axes were found at Kadova u Mor, Krumlov, Určic u Prostějov and Lubná u Kroměříže in the Czech Republic.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Facsimile, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic




flint tools flint tools


flint tools
Mousterian axes were designed to be held in the hand, they did not have handles.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic




flint tools flint tools


flint tools
Side scrapers or racloirs, typical Mousterian tools, served mostly to scrape wood to shape and to smooth it, but the sharp edge was also suitable for skinning ( when a knife was needed, for example at the initial cut, and, later, the legs - Don ).

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Facsimile, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic




flint tools
Levallois core (or nucleus) and point.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic




flint tools
The Levallois process, from selection of the pebble to the final product.

Artist: Unknown
Rephotography: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source: Poster, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic




flint tools flint tools


Tools with notches and teeth, of the type known as the Denticulate Mousterian. The Denticulate Mousterian as a separate Middle Palaeolithic facies was first described by F. Bordes in his 1953 classification of the Mousterian industries of southwestern France.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Source and text: Original, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic
Additional text: Kolobova (2012)




cave

Model of Kůlna Cave in the Moravian Karst. Below, the profile of archaeological layers revealed in the cave in 1961 - 1976.

Photo: Don Hitchcock 2018
Model and graphics design: Unknown
Source and text: Diorama, Anthropos Pavilion/Moravian Museum, Brno, Czech Republic





Kůlna Cave
Layer Age
1,2 Neolithic 6 000 BP
3,4 Epi-Magdalenian (Azilian) 11 000 BP
5,6 Magdalenian 12 000 BP - 13 000 BP
6b Gravettian 22 000 BP
6c Micoquian 40 000 BP - 45 000 BP
7a Micoquian 50 000 BP
7b Micoquian 50 000 BP
7c,d, 8a Micoquian 50 000 BP
8b,9a Micoquian 60 000 BP
9b Micoquian 70 000 BP
10, 11a-d Taubachian 100 000 BP
12, 13 Taubachian 110 000 BP
14 Old Middle Palaeolithic 120 000 BP


    Layers and ages at Kůlna Cave.

    Extra data on ages from Neruda, Nerudová (2014)

    ( note that there are minor inconsistencies with layer contents and ages between this table from the Brno Museum and the data from Neruda, Nerudová (2014)  - Don )




cave

Kůlna Cave. Location of the Kůlna Cave (a, b); southern entrance (c); stratigraphic schematic (d) of the Middle Palaeolithic sequence (modified after Valoch, 1988b) and ground plan of the cave (e) with indications of sectors (prepared by P. Neruda).

Source and text: Neruda, Nerudová (2014)




References

  1. Kolobova, K. et al., 2012: The denticulate Mousterian as a supposedly distinct facies in Western Central Asia, Archaeology Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia, 40/1 (2012) 11–23
  2. Neruda, P., Nerudová, Z., 2014: New radiocarbon data from Micoquian layers of the Kůlna Cave (Czech Republic), Quaternary International, 326–327. 157–167. 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.10.015.





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