Tool culture traditionally associated with the Neanderthals in Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa during the early fourth (Würm) glacial period (c. 40,000 BC). The Mousterian tool assemblage included small hand axes made from disk-shaped cores; flake tools such as scrapers and points; toothed, sawlike instruments produced by making notches on a flake; and round limestone balls, believed to have served as bolas. Wooden spears were used to hunt large game such as the mammoth and woolly rhinoceros. Mousterian implements disappeared abruptly from Europe with the passing of the Neanderthals.
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