Middle English sophisticaten, to adulterate, from Medieval Latin sophisticre, sophistict-, from Latin sophisticus, sophistic, from Greek sophistikos, from sophists, sophist; see sophist.]. Being expert or having knowledge of some technical subject; “understanding volumetric concepts in flint knapping requires considerable sophistication”.
The simple cleaver shown in this post could be 1 Million or only 200 ka yrs old. After the Middle Pleistocene Sophistication in flint knapping can not automatically being interpreted as a trait of an advanced and chronological late technocomplex. Handaxes from Boxgrove are much more sophisticated than handaxes from later sites in the SommeValley. Still Bay points are as sophisticated as Laurel Leaf Points from the Solutrean. MSA Points from different complexes in Botswana, the Horn of Africa and South Africa are more sophisticated than Mousterian Points from the OIS3 in Europe. Quina scrapers look often “primitive” allthough they are often produced by a sophisticated technique. Holocene Pics from Portugal and Spain (Asturian) look like pebble tools from the Oldowan. At Dolni Vestonice Choppers have been dokumented by B. Klima during the Pavlovian occupations. “Mousterian” like tools are common in the Mesolithic of Northern Germany.
Implicitly or explicitly, concepts in Prehistoric research are are often biased towards an evolutionary linear schematism. In this thinking, sophistication is not awaited before the “Human Revolution”. We should be more openminded for more complex histories, unforseen data and new concepts.