So far, the oldest artifact discovered within the Neuss municipal area is the blade of a flint knife. It is attributed to the Upper Paleolithic Gravettian culture and is about 27,000 to 33,000 years old. The Gravettian culture is dated to the midperiod of the Weichselian glaciations. The Rhineland at the time was not covered by glaciers, but mainly by sparse tundra vegetation. This vegetation provided a diet for reindeer, wild horses, woolly rhinoceroses and mammoths. The owner of the knife – who is effectively the earliest known resident of Neuss – was biologically speaking a modern human. Despite their limited material resources, humans of the time had cognitive capabilities that were similar to ours today. Female figurines made of fired clay or limestone and textiles have been found at Gravettian sites. The invention of the spear-thrower occurred during this cultural period.