A well-made Mousterian Levallois Point / Spearhead is a RARE Neanderthal artifact, much more so than hand axes. In the past two decades, we have only had 5 exceptional specimens of these scarce Stone Age artifacts to offer so this should not be missed by the most advanced collectors of the best Paleolithic tools of Europe. This Mousterian point / spearhead was made by Neanderthals over 40,000 years ago and was discovered in France in a rock shelter, in one of the most famous regions of Neanderthal history!
The concept of a "projectile point" was FIRST KNOWN in human history during the Middle Paleolithic Period, whereas, hand axes had been around for over one million years by that same time. This might explain the sheer scarcity of fine grade point specimens. The Mousterian Point of Levallois Point would be Man's first spearhead. Lashed to a wooden pole, it would have gave rise to the invention of a new weapon for hunting large game. Now, the megafauna of the day such as mammoths, bison, rhino, and horse, could be hunted with greater success. Such a weapon would also have given prehistoric humans a more effective weapon against each other!
This COMPLETE example shows a classic Levallois form with Neanderthal retouching on one side to sharpen the cutting edge and better shape the profile. It was made on a Levallois point and then retouched in prehistory, for further refinement. It shows a tapered base that was specifically designed to aid hafting to a wood spear pole. Tool features like this show the remarkable developing ingenuity of the prehistoric mind. The edges on both sides are still razor sharp as originally made, with no damage. The tip is intact and is as made. The surface features a rich, prehistoric patina. There are heavy cave floor encrustations on one side where it lay undisturbed for millennia. Mineral deposits are still embedded in the hinge fractures - irrefutable evidence of an authentic specimen.
A rare, rare invention of Neanderthal intelligence improving a new design. In perfect, AS MADE condition.
France is home to some of Europe's most spectacular Paleolithic sites nearly all of which are now closed and off-limits to any collecting, makes this scarce prehistoric weapon a scarce and highly desirable acquisition piece for the best collections or investment! This Mousterian Point came from a very old French collection as is the case with all the best material being stashed for decades and decades in private collections of yesteryear when collecting was possible. Today, sites are depleted, as well as having been closed and protected for many decades, preventing further digging of any new artifacts - all the factors that will continue to drive values and prices for these rare artifacts up at a consistent rate of appreciation.
Mousterian Points are theorized to have been used as spearheads mounted on the ends of wooden poles and employed to stab large prey by Neanderthal hunters. Certainly a specimen like this would have been a formidable weapon and such a size would have been needed to take down large prey such as Woolly Mammoth, Bison, Aurochs, Cave Bear and Woolly Rhinoceros. The form and execution of this extraordinary spearhead is superb. By this period in time, Man had not yet invented the bow and arrow but intact Neanderthal wooden spears have been scientifically documented in situ. Triangular pointed tips first made by Neanderthals were the precursor to the arrowhead!
The Levallois Technique is a method of flake tool manufacture that was first employed in the Acheulian Era about 250,000 years ago by archaic Homo sapiens but perfected in the Middle Paleolithic Era by Neanderthals. It consists of starting with a core of stone and using heavy percussion hammering on one side to remove large flakes in a radial fashion, creating a "turtle-back" profile on one side of the core. A single heavy blow at one end of the core struck the flake off and the end result was a prepared flake (a la Levallois) with a convex shape on one side (from initial flake removal when still attached to the core) and a flat side on the other (from the side split off the remaining core). Edges of this struck flake were then retouched to create the desired cutting edge but the geometry of the two sides remained. It was the Levallois method employed by Neanderthals to manufacture a variety of early tools including the first points that were hafted to wooden poles for use as spears. These were the first known human-made spears and were likely used by thrusting, rather than throwing.