In 1980, archaeologists excavating in the loess and gravel pit Belvedere near Maastricht discovered traces of Neanderthals that were 250,000 years old. In those remote times, the wooded and watery banks of the River Maas had been an ideal hunting ground. Neanderthals were excellent hunters, not only because of their weapons and techniques, but also because of their communication, planning and intelligence. The traces of use found on this flint knife were made by the slaughter of an animal such as a bison or straight-tusked elephant, pachyderms that were indigenous to these parts in prehistoric times. The knife was found among the remains of two young steppe rhinoceroses, including two molars.