This rare Middle Paleolithic flake tool was fashioned by Neanderthals over 40,000 years ago out of gem-grade colorful 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 small unique prehistoric site is off-limits to any collecting, makes this wonderful stone tool artifact exceedingly rare and desirable!
Fashioned in colorful jasper that is only found at the tiny, world-famous Fontmaure Neanderthal site, this is a classic Mousterian SIDE SCRAPER. It shows considerable flaking from use and re-sharpening by Neanderthal tool users. Side scrapers were used to shave meat from bone, as well as shape wood, bone and ivory into tools, weapons and art objects. Since the majority of Paleolithic tools in Europe were fashioned of dark and drab-colored flint, tools in Fontmaure colored jasper are believed to have been prestige objects of great desire as they would have stood out in comparison to all other tools from other regions.
Neanderthal flake tool is complete and in its original form as it was made at least 40,000 years ago. All cutting edges are still intact as made with obvious secondary flaking on its cutting edge. No modern crushing is seen, and intact original sediments are visible in the microscopic crevices - evidence of authenticity not found in fakes or altered artifacts. It was made from a colorful piece of jasper, adding an aesthetic that made this tool stand out in prehistoric times, and likely a tool of prestige.
Unlike inferior surface-collected specimens that occasionally are offered on the market, 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 damaged by a farmers plow. This entire specimen is in perfect, AS MADE condition with a rich natural soil sheen from long-term sediment burial.
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. 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! Today, we find the unusual, bright colors of the Fontmaure Neanderthal tools to be intriguingly beautiful and no doubt, the Neanderthals of prehistory coveted and prized these pieces, as well!