Stone flakes, tools and spears
The different stoneworking techniques used by the Neanderthals to meet their day-to-day needs reveal the high degree of technical complexity and the ability for abstraction developed by these groups.
During the Middle Palaeolithic, the Neanderthal groups made stone tools using a variety of stoneworking systems. Limestone, quartz and flint were the most common types of stone used in that period, with flint being that generally preferred by skilled knappers.
The way in which each type of stone was worked depended on its nature and the implements needed to be made to meet the social and economic needs of the groups. A technological characteristic of the Mousterian was the possibility of obtaining lithic flakes in predetermined shapes based on the particular preparation of a stone nucleus. The most common systems were the discoid and Levallois, complicated techniques that involved a complex conceptual organisation of the nuclei or cores.
Eight fire-hardened wooden spears were excavated at the Schöningen archaeological site in Germany. They are the earliest examples we have of wooden weapons and are exceptional given that wooden implements are not normally preserved.