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Middle Paleolithic

Middle Paleolithic is a designation for ancient technologies found in Eurasia. Middle Paleolithic industries are generally based on Levallois stone reduction methods. Large cutting tools like handaxes are rare in Middle Paleolithic assemblages, while points—often hafted onto spears—are common. African assemblages with similar characteristics are generally known as Middle Stone Age, although the two terms are not precisely equivalent.

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Bison bones from Gran Dolina show butchery practices 400,000 years ago

Ancient people left a bone bed of bison killed in two seasons and butchered at the site with expedient tools.

Panoramic image of excavation at Gran Dolina with archaeologists at work.
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What killing methods enabled Neandertals to hunt large prey animals?

A look at sites where ancient people killed many animals at once provides insight into their knowledge of the social behavior of prey animals.

Vague painting of Neandertals with bison
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Different transport strategies for different large prey species at Abric Romaní

Interpreting the record of prey exploitation at a rock shelter site over thousands of years provides a window into past economics.

Two red deer does and a fawn standing within a misty fog layer with a rising sun in the background
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Did Neandertals live at or above the Arctic Circle?

Examining work by Ludovic Slimak and coworkers on the Byzovaya site, with Mousterian artifacts near the Arctic Circle in Russia.

Stone tool from Byzovaya, Russia, in four views
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What is the temporal bone from Darra-i-Kur, Afghanistan?

A bone from a historic excavation in Afghanistan raises the topic of genetic reanalysis of fragmentary fossils.

Temporal bone in four standard views