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Outcrops at Schöningen contributed much to the stratigraphic knowledge of the Middle Pleistocene. In a large complex of opencast lignite mines close to Schöningen (State of Lower Saxony, Germany), large profiles have been opened up since 1978 showing sediments deposited during various Middle and Late Pleistocene glacials and interglacials. The enormous scale of the outcrops meant that the different layers and deposits could be continued over long distances, both horizontally and vertically. There has been a great deal of quaternary geological research on the quarry walls for a long time, including general geological and sedimentological research, and a lot of paleontological and dating research.

Archaeological finds such as skeletal remains and flint tools were made in various layers. The most important find that made Schöningen famous are seven wooden spears from the Reinsdorf Interglacial. Its age is estimated at 400 ka. This find is special because wood of such an age is difficult to fossilize, so that wooden tools from the Early Paleolithic are almost unknown. They are the oldest wooden tools known to date. They were found in situ along with the remains of about twenty horses. The bones of the horses showed many signs of slaughter. This is considered evidence for the fact that early humans were active hunters.