Distribution of Homo neanderthalensis, and main sites. Mousterian industries have been found outside this range (e.g., Jordan, Saudi Arabia).
Cave entrance of Raqefet Cave, where Mousterian remains have been found.
The European Mousterian is the product of Neanderthals. It existed roughly from 160,000 to 40,000 BP.
Some assemblages, namely those from Pech de l'Aze, include exceptionally small points prepared using the Levallois technique among other prepared core types, causing some researchers to suggest that these flakes take advantage of greater grip strength possessed by Neanderthals.
In North Africa and the Near East, Mousterian tools were produced by anatomically modern humans. In the Eastern Mediterranean, for example, assemblages produced by Neanderthals are indistinguishable from those made by Qafzeh type modern humans. The Mousterian industry in North Africa is estimated to be 315,000 years old.
Possible variants are Denticulate, Charentian (Ferrassie & Quina) named after the Charente region, Typical, and the Mousterian Traditional Acheulian (MTA) Type-A and Type-B. The industry continued alongside the new Châtelperronian industry during the 45,000-40,000 BP period.
Mousterian artifacts have been found in Haua Fteah in Cyrenaica and other sites in Northwest Africa.
The archaeological cave site of Azykh contains Mousterian relics in the overlying strata. In this cave ,a lower jaw of a hominid named Azykhantrop has been found. It is supposed that this finding belongs to a pre-neanderthal species.
Stone scrapers for cleaning and working leather, Mousterian Culture, Israel, 250,000-50,000 BP
^Callaway, Ewen (20 August 2014). "Neanderthals: Bone technique redrafts prehistory". Nature. 512 (7514): 242. doi:10.1038/512242a. ISSN0028-0836. PMID25143094. From the Black Sea to the Atlantic coast of France, these [Mousterian] artefacts and Neanderthal remains disappear from European sites at roughly the same time, 39,000–41,000 years ago, Higham's team conclude. The data challenge arguments that Neanderthals endured in refuges in the southern Iberian Peninsula until as recently as 28,000 years ago
^ abRichter, Daniel; Grün, Rainer; Joannes-Boyau, Renaud; Steele, Teresa E.; Amani, Fethi; Rué, Mathieu; Fernandes, Paul; Raynal, Jean-Paul; Geraads, Denis (2017-06-07). "The age of the hominin fossils from Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, and the origins of the Middle Stone Age". Nature. 546 (7657): 293–296. doi:10.1038/nature22335. ISSN0028-0836. PMID28593967.
^Shaw, Ian; Jameson, Robert, eds. (1999). A Dictionary of Archaeology. Blackwell. p. 408. ISBN0-631-17423-0. Retrieved 1 August 2016. "the classic Mousterian can be identified after perhaps 160,000 BP and lasts until c. 40,000 BP in Europe."
^Dibble, Harold L.; McPherron, Shannon P. (October 2006). "The Missing Mousterian". Current Anthropology. 47 (5): 777–803. doi:10.1086/506282.
^Shea, J. J., 2003: Neandertals [sic], competition and the origin of modern human behaviour in the Levant, Evolutionary Anthropology, 12:173-187.