The Mousterian industry is named after the sites of Le Moustier in France, where these stone tools were first identified.

In North Africa, Europe and the Near East, Mousterian tools were produced. Mousterian industries refer to a distinctive stone tool technology. Some say was associated with Neanderthals (link). In Europe and Asia, and both early modern humans, and neanderthals in Africa. Most agree this technology was associated during the Middle paleolithic period. And, may have lasted from 300,000 to around 30,000 years ago. When both more modern tools and humans begin appearing.

Some say the Mousterian industry in North Africa is estimated to be 315,000 years old.
Though, in the and eastern regions. Like at Qafzeh or Es-Skhul cave(s) in Israel. Artifacts from 100,000 years ago are indistinguisable. These types or early modern humans indicated that humans and neanderthals may have lived and traded together.

Levallois Technique
Named after the Levallois-Perret suburb of Paris. Is a method of creating stone tools. Mouseterian industry used the Levallois techniques, or something similar. They first striked flakes off a core. Along the edges. Creating a pre-prepared core. It allowed tool users to customize the preped shape to what was necessary for the job. Once the cores were preped. They could strike it in such a way, intended tools could be flaked off. With all of its edges pre-sharpened.
One notable feature of this standardization and versatility. Demonstrating planning and cognitive abilities. The Levallois technique, and mousterian toolkits were adapted and modified for different purposes. They were often well-designed for specific functions, and, exhibited a high level of detail, craftsmanship and refinement for there time.

Raw materials Flint, chert, and other fine-grained rocks were used
Tools included: hand axes, scrapers, and points. And, whatever else they could find for working hides, butchering animals, and wood-working.

Scientists including John Shea, from the university of Chicago, suggested that studying Mousterian technology may have outlived its usefulness. It maybe getting in the way. Mousterian technology was defined in the early 20th century, as a single entity. And, although during the first half of that century a range of scholars tried to subdivide it, they have been mostly unsuccessful. Shea points out that different regions have different tools, and its not really what intellects are interested in learning. Could it be due to an excess of rifraff, and useless leftover materials? What did you think??

Common sites
Istrian peninsula sites include: Romualdova pećina and an open-air site at Campanož. On the Adriatic coast was Mujina pećina, and Velika pećina in Kličevica.

At Kaštel Štafilić, an underwater site, about 100 artifacts were recovered. Including centripetal cores, side scrapers, pseudotools, pieces of chert and Levallois method artifacts.

In the area north of the town of Zadar, an extensive series of sites exist, where usually small micro-mousterian industry tools are found. Including denticulates and notched pieces. Other finds include Povljana offshore, on the island of Pag. And, at Stipanac in Lake Prokljan. Some under water.

The Mousterian industry represents an important stage in human cultural and technological evolution and provides valuable insights into paleolithic capabilities and behaviors. It is also significant because it overlaps with the period when modern humans began to expand into regions occupied by Neanderthals, possibly leading to interactions between the two hominin species. Check it out with some more neolithic architecture today!

Shea, J. J. (2003). “Neandertals [sic], competition and the origin of modern human behaviour in the Levant”. Evolutionary Anthropology. 12: 173–187. doi:10.1002/evan.10101 ( S2CID 86608040 (

Boschian, Giovanni; Gerometta, Katarina; Ellwood, Brooks B.; Karavanić, Ivor (2017-09-02).”Late Neandertals in Dalmatia: Site formation processes, chronology, climate change andchuman activity at Mujina Pećina, Croatia” ( Quaternary International.

Prehistoric hunter-gatherers and farmers in the Adriatic and neighboring regions. 450: 12–35. Bibcode:2017QuInt.450…12B (https://ui.adsabs.…12B
). doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2016.09.066 ( ISSN 1040-6182 (

Petraglia MD, and Dennell R. 2007. Archaeological Records: Global Expansion 300,000-8000 years ago, Asia. In: Elias SA, editor. Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science. Oxford: Elsevier. p107-118.

Shea JJ. 2013. Lithic Modes A–I: A New Framework for Describing Global-Scale Variation in Stone Tool Technology Illustrated with Evidence from the East Mediterranean Levant. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 20(1):151-186.

Shea JJ. 2014. Sink the Mousterian? Named stone tool industries (NASTIES) as obstacles to investigating hominin evolutionary relationships in the Later Middle Paleolithic Levant. Quaternary International 350:169-179.

Karavanić, Ivor (2015), Sázelová, Sandra; Novák, Martin; Mizerová, Alena (eds.), “Research on underwater Mousterian: The site of Resnik – Kaštel Štafilić, Dalmatia, Croatia.” (, In book: Forgotten times and spaces: New perspectives in paleoanthropological, paleoetnological and archeological studies., Masaryk university, pp. 73–79, doi:10.5817/CZ.MUNI.M210-7781-2015-6 (, ISBN 978-80-210-7781-2, retrieved 2020-05-18

Rossi, Irena Radić; Karavanić, Ivor; Butorac, Valerija (2020), Bailey, Geoff; Galanidou, Nena; Peeters, Hans; Jöns, Hauke (eds.), “Croatia: Submerged Prehistoric Sites in a Karstic Landscape”, The Archaeology of Europe’s Drowned Landscapes, Coastal Research Library, Springer International Publishing, pp. 347–369, doi 10.1007/978-3-030-37367-2_18 (, ISBN 978-3-030-37367-2

Harvati, Katerina; Roksandic, Mirjana (2017-01-18). Paleoanthropology of the Balkans and Anatolia: Human Evolution and its Context ( Springer. ISBN 978-94-024-0874-4.

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