Good and Bad Knappers Among Neanderthals

  • Javier BaenaEmail author
  • Irene Ortiz
  • Concepción Torres
Part of the Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Series book series (RNMH)


One of most recent Mousterian sites discovered in Madrid (Spain) is El Cañaveral-Area 3 archaeological site, an open-air raw material quarrying site occupied during the MIS 3. In this site, we have excavated a total surface area of around 164 m2 of coluvionar sediments affected by edaphic processes that have had an impact on the distribution of the original knapping zones. However, several refits were discovered as a result of rapid sedimentation. From a technological point of view, the lithic production was mainly focused in the production of levallois points after a centripetal decortication of flakes and blocks. In this paper, we present and analyze some examples that indicate, with no doubt, the existence of a wide variety of technological levels in the knapping authors, as a possible result of social changes that occurred in the MIS 3 Neanderthals communities.


Lithic technology Skills Learning Acheulian Palaeolithic 



This contribution is a part of the research projects with references HAR2013-48784-C3-3-P and HAR2016-76760-C3-2-P, financed by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain. The authors would also like to thank ARQUEX SL., Junta de compensación of El Cañaveral, the Cañaveral archaeological team and particularly I. Rus and S. Bárez.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dpto. de Prehistoria y ArqueologíaUniversidad Autónoma de Madrid, Campus CantoblancoMadridSpain

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