“Going Levallois”

Three Levallois cores from different sites in the Dordogne.

The Levallois Technique is a sophisticated core preparation ev0lving in Europe during OIS-8. Indeed some researchers have recognized this technic as the beginning of the Middle Paleolithic. Some reserachers suggest, that the Levallois technique allows a higher mobility  in particular within the rich semi-arid environments of the mammoth steppe.

The definition of Levallois is straigtforward: The volume of the Levallois-Core is conceptualized as two surfaces separated by a plane of intersection. These surfaces are hierarchically related and non-interchangeable, one being a dedicated surface of striking platform and the other a dedicated flaking surface. The flaking surface is prefigured to detach a flake of predetermined morphology.  The fracture plane for the removal runs parallel to the plane of intersection , and the junction between the flaking surface and the striking platform is perpendicular to the axis of percussion and oriented to allow the removal of flakes from the flaking surface.

Different basic concepts of Levallois have been described: Lineal and recurrent techniques. Unipolar and bipolar, flake or blade-oriented techniques, and a convergent or centipedal technique.

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