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NEANDERTHAL MOUSTERIAN JASPER POINT ON THICK FLAKE

Fontmaure, West Central France

MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC PERIOD (MOUSTERIAN):  80,000 - 40,000 years ago

This rare stone tool was fashioned by Neanderthals over 40,000 years ago out of gem-grade jasper known to occur ONLY from Fontmaure located in West Central France.  The site this specimen was excavated from is only approximately 1 acre in size and is now closed and protected by the government This rare artifact was legally collected with the landowner's permission decades ago before the area was sealed.  Fontmaure is one of Europe's most famous Neanderthal sites and the fact that this tiny primitive settlement is off-limits to any collecting, makes this wonderful stone tool artifact exceedingly rare and desirable!  We personally theorize that the Neanderthals highly valued the spectacular glowing, colored gem jasper that is uniquely found at Fontmaure.  It is possible that material like this was traded, considered prestigious to own and even fought over.  Because of this, it is easy to suppose that the jasper was rationed and smaller tools were fashioned to get as much possible out of each tool core.  Large tools are rare from this site and could have easily been considered a possession of great prestige as well as a functional tool. 

This tool is a MOUSTERIAN POINT made of fancy Fontmaure jasper.  Mousterian points are points that are retouched Levallois points.  The shape is asymmetrical yet shows well formed edges.  The term 'point' incorporates various styles and indicates a shape of the flake tool.  There is prehistoric use wear seen on the distal edges and point in the above photo.  This Mousterian point, made on such a beautiful and richly colored piece of jasper, could have easily been an item of great prestige as well as function.  Overall, one can see the finest soil sheen found only on Paleolithic tools subjected to millennia of burial.  Unlike inferior surface-collected specimens that occasionally are offered from this site, this tool was dug from the actual subterranean level that was once a Neanderthal occupation layer.  What this means is that it was not weathered and damaged by exposure to the elements or plow.  This entire specimen is in perfect, 'AS MADE' condition.  A beautiful, as well as very rare Neanderthal artifact.  Workmanship and form are superb.  NO RESTORATION, REPAIR OR MODERN DAMAGE.

Out of the many archaeological sites in France containing Paleolithic objects, Fontmaure is one of the "Crown Jewels" of the period of the Neanderthals.  This site is very small, spanning only approximately one acre.  It gets its name from the neighboring farm where it is located, situated in the Vienne region of North Poitou.  Artifacts from Fontmaure have been dated to at least 40,000 years old and are classified as from the Chatelperronian and Mousterian era, having been fashioned by the Neanderthal people.  One of the unique published finds of Fontmaure is the very beautiful and unique jasper which is only found here and is primarily red and yellow.  Many of the objects found in Fontmaure are made of this stone with other objects made of sandstone, flint and light gray quartz.  This light gray quartz originates from a place that is situated about hundred kilometers from Fontmaure.  Another unusual feature is that, to date, it is one of a few known open-air settlements.  Even more interesting is the fact that along with the stone tools found, human and animal figures have also been excavated.  There are also stones used in some type of ritual, such as triangular stones, round discs and stone balls (bolas) that have been discovered in Fontmaure.  These art objects of the Neanderthals make up some of the oldest art known from Europe!

The MOUSTERIAN tool tradition gets its name from artifacts discovered at a primitive rock shelter named Le Moustier located in southwestern France.  Compared to the bulkier tools of the Acheulian produced by the Levallois technique, Mousterian tools are comprised of smaller flakes from an exhaustively worked core which are then retouched on the edges to make a large variety of tools.  These tools are not only smaller than Acheulian specimens, but they are more specialized for their various tasks.  Mousterian tools can be broadly put into four classes: 1) SAWS (Denticulate Tools) and KNIVES,  2) SCRAPERS  3) BORERS  4) HANDAXES, CHOPPERS and CLEAVERS.

Mousterian tool-makers were the primitive humans knows as the Neanderthals.  Neanderthals had massive skeletons and teeth, flat foreheads and heavy brow ridges.  Their skulls were larger than a modern man and contained an average brain capacity of 1500 cc, averaging slightly larger than humans of today. 

GEM MOUSTERIAN POINT WITH USE WEAR ON DISTAL CUTTING EDGES - SITE NOW CLOSED AND PROTECTED

2.5" in length

SOLD     M215     INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

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