Neandertals did not leave much evidence of art in the archaeological record. There are a few artifacts such as the polished mammoths tooth found in Tata, Hungary, in 1964, and bones and rocks which that have scratches and faint patterns on them. At the site of La Quina in France, pendants made from a reindeer phalange and the canine of a fox were discovered. At the site of La Ferrassie, a bone that was finely etched with long parallel lines was found near a Neandertal burial. It has been speculated that perhaps it was placed there intentionally. At another site, Bacho Kiro, in Bulgaria a fragment of a bone was discovered with an unusual zigzag motif. When it was analyzed under a microscope, it revealed that its maker, upon coming to the end of an engraved line, "did not lift his tool to make a joining line in the other direction, but left it on the bone and turned or twisted it, leaving the print of the turning in the corner of each of the angles" (Marshack 1976:277). This indicates that these marks were intentional and not casually made from butchering
Another intriguing evidence of Neandertal art comes from Tata, Hungary. In 1964 a carved and perfectly oval shaped section of a mammoth's molar was discovered. It was big enough to fit in the hand and at one point had been ochered red, possibly more than once (Marshack 1976). This unique piece of art also contained evidence of extreme handling, which caused it to appear highly polished and rounded. According to Alexander Marshack:
"There is clearly a rough cognitive-visual connection between flakes that are struck from a pebble core and plates sectioned from the tooth. But there is a profound qualitive difference. The materials are different and require other working strategies and sequences. But, more important, in working Paleolithic stone one plans for a functional edge. Here the artisan planned for a "non-utilitarian, "symbolic object" (Marshack 1976:278).
Another form of art discovered, that was created by a Neandertal was a pendant from Arcy-sur-Cure, France. This decoration was made out of bone and has clear markings on it. It was discovered with the Saint Cesaire Neandertal. It seems to be an amulet of some sort, that could have possibly been worn around a Neandertal's neck. This same pendant was found with pierced animal teeth, in what appeared to be a hut. Some archaeologists suspect that this pendant is evidence of interaction between Neandertals and Cro-Magnons. Either way, one can be assured that the amulet held some sort of symbolic value to its owner.
All of the above items show that Neandertals possessed some artistic ability and cognitive ability for abstraction, modeling, and manufacturing something other than tools (Marshack 1976). These objects could have been symbolic of numerous things. The pendants and mammoth tooth could have served as markers in culturally structured intragroup relations, differentiating age, sex, role, and rank representations (Marshack 1976). They also might have been used in group activities such as rituals and ceremonies. Artifacts with zigzag images were possibly symbolic of the awareness of the natural world.
The ability of Neandertals to make music is another artistic quality recently discovered. Announced in 1996, a flute made from a juvenile bear femur with two intact pierced holes was found at the former Neandertal hunting camp of Divje Babe I, in Slovenia (Wilford 1996). There were two other punctured holes at the end of the bone, that either eroded away or were chewed off by carnivores. The straight alignment of the holes suggests that they were made by Neandertals using a carnivore tooth to pierce the bone, not by gnawing animals (Wilford 1996). Could it be possible that Neandertal man was producing music? According to this new discovery the answer is yes. This new discovery indicates that Neandertals possessed the ability to produce music and possibly express the prehistoric fears, longings, and joys in their lives, much like we do today. This enforces the idea that Neandertals had basic human behavior.