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Artifact Found in Germany Hints at Neanderthal Hunting Practices

Friday, July 23, 2021

Neanderthal Leaf PointTÜBINGEN, GERMANY—According to a statement released by the University of Tübingen, a leaf-shaped point dated to at least 65,000 years ago has been unearthed in southern Germany’s Hohle Fels Cave by a team led by Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen. Microscopic analysis of the Neanderthal artifact by Veerle Rots of the University of Liège revealed damage to the tip that suggests it had been mounted on a wooden shaft and used as a thrusting spear during large animal hunts. The point broke during the sharpening process, and was discarded, he added. Conard explained that this is the first time that a leaf-shaped point has been discovered during a modern excavation. It had been previously thought that such points were used by Neanderthals in central Europe between 45,000 and 55,000 years ago. To read about spears likely used by early Neanderthals, go to "Weapons of the Ancient World: Hunting Equipment."

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