The most famous invention of Middle Paleolithic Aterian Tradition technology is the development of primitive tanged projectile points and scrapers meant to be hafted. These tanged arrowheads represent a milestone in early human cognitive thinking as well as Paleolithic history. The man-made protruding process on ATERIAN tools is the first evidence of a tang on a projectile point, proof that the points were hafted on shafts and eventually developed into arrowheads. Some scientists theorize that the bow and arrow was first invented around the time of the Aterian tradition evidenced by the discovery of small tanged points from this same region in North Africa. The Aterian Tradition is also responsible for various scrapers with obvious knapped tangs also intended for hafting the tool onto handles of bone, ivory or wood. Primitive man, in the Aterian Period, sometimes salvaged damaged points to be reworked into tanged scrapers. In other instances, the original concept of the tool was a scraper and no evidence of being a former projectile point can be found. Tools and weapons from this technology date from periods from roughly 80,000 years old to 40,000 years ago.
In today's market, the Aterian point is the best bargain in an affordable, true arrowhead from the PALEOLITHIC Period. Later in the Neolithic Period, arrowheads become proliferate but Paleolithic projectile points are EXTREMELY RARE AND COSTLY TO ACQUIRE!
The ATERIAN tradition tool-makers derived their technology from the Mousterian Tradition tools and flakes - basically, Neanderthal technology. The Aterian technology uses the levallois and disc core techniques and superseded the Mousterian Tradition in this region of North Africa. One can look at the Aterian Tradition as being a "refined" Mousterian technology. The key characteristic of Aterian points is the obvious tang whereby these points were hafted (attached) to a wooden pole or handle.
For a time, early modern man coexisted with the Neanderthals only to survive as the sole species of humans to this day. Currently, there is speculation and study investigating the possibility that modern man was responsible for the extermination of the more primitive Neanderthals. Stone tools from the era of the Middle Paleolithic exhibit considerable diversity and specialization, far greater than all preceding periods. By this age of lithic tool use, stone implements have undergone man's development by both trial-and-error and cognitive thinking spanning an overall time exceeding one million years.