Station: [107] Neanderthal Encampment and Workshop

 An encampment that belonged to the big-game hunters near Markkleeberg could have looked just like the model you’re looking at.  The hunters set up camp on the bank of a river and to protect themselves from the cold wind they built a small hut with a windshield. Meat is being cooked, which means the hunt was successful. The hunters used spears to kill a large bison and dissected it using flint stone tools. The skin and the fur were processed to protect them from the harsh climate.

You can see which tools the Neanderthals used in the showcase. The hand axe or biface invented by Homo erectus is one of the oldest. It was used to break open bones, scrape fur, work wood and cut grasses and meat. The wedge knife with a sharp-finished edge and blunt back was a special sort of hand axe. The pointed blade is also a typical feature of Markkleeberg tools and it was used as a spear tip or an addition to a lance. You’ll notice there are various different types of scrapers. 

Spears made of spruce wood were found In Schöningen in Lower Saxony. They date back to 350,000 to 300,000 years ago and their quality is impressive.  In the recent periods of the Eemian interglacial period 125.000 to 115.000 years ago, only small and roughly-worked tools were made, the beautifully-worked blade tips date back to the last glacial period 50,000 to 40,000 years ago. 

The Neanderthals used various techniques to produce tools. A noteworthy technique was named after Levallois-Perret, where it was discovered near Paris in France. Pre-Neanderthals were familiar with the Levallois technique 300,000 years ago in which a lump of flint stone was pre-prepared so that the desired flake or shape was recognisable. This was then separated from the stone with one strike using a tool such as an antler pick for example.