Schöningen is a town of about 13,000 inhabitants in the district of Helmstedt in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located near the border with Saxony-Anhalt, on the southeastern rim of the Elm hill range. In its current form, it was created in 1974 by joining the municipalities of Esbeck, Hoiersdorf, and Schöningen. Schöningen is a stop on the German Framework Road.
In archaeology, Schöningen is famous for four ancient wooden spears found in an opencast mine near the town (Bamford & Henderson 2003). The spears are about 400,000 years old (Klein. 2005. p114), making them the world's oldest human-made wooden artifacts, as well as the oldest weapons, ever found. Three of them were probably manufactured as projectile weapons, because the weight and tapered point is at the front of the spear making it fly straight in flight, similar to the design of a modern javelin. The fourth spear is shorter with points at both ends and is thought to be a thrusting spear or a throwing stick (Bamford & Henderson 2003). They were found in combination with the remains of about 20 wild horses, whose bones contain numerous butchery marks, including one pelvis that still had a spear sticking out of it. This is considered proof that early humans were active hunters with specialized tool kits.
The first historical mentioning of the Saxon settlement in the Royal Frankish Annals dates back to 747, when the Carolingian Pepin the Short stayed here during the conflict with his half-brother Grifo. Schöningen was the site of a Königspfalz of Pepin's son Charlemagne and later of the Ottonian dynasty. Saint Willigis, Archbishop of Mainz from 975, was probably born at Schöningen about 940.
From the 14th century it was held by the Welf dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who granted Schöningen town privileges in 1332. About 1350 Duke Magnus the Pious had a castle built here to secure the nearby border with the Bishopric of Halberstadt.
Restaurant "Sportschänke" Inh. Janine Weis Alte Kirchstraße 1 a 38364 Schöningen Tel.: 0 53 52/30 80
Cafe & Bar No. 44 Inh. Thomas Piehler Niedernstraße 44 38364 Schöningen Tel.: 0 53 52/9 08 22 13
Hotel Deutsches Haus  Hötensleber Straße 3 Schöningen 05352 2589
Hotel Harmonie Am Wallgarten 12 Schöningen 05352 2023
Fam. Bernitt  Nicolaistr. 3 Schöningen 0170 7797764
Ferienwohnung Willecke  Markt 18 Schöningen 05352 3625