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Levallois Technique

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Levallois Core from the Douro Basin, Portugal

Levallois Core from the Douro Basin, Portugal

José-Manuel Benito Alvarez
Definition:

Levallois is the name archaeologists have given to a distinctive flint knapping technique, which makes up part of the ancient Acheulean and Mousterian artifact assemblages.

The stone tool making technique involves flaking pieces off the edge of a large piece of flint until it is shaped like a turtle shell, and using the core to make tools. The Levallois technique is thought to have been used by Neanderthals in Europe beginning about 250,000 years ago, and then perfected during the Mousterian of 100,000 years ago.

Sources

Binford, Lewis R. and Sally R. Binford 1966 A preliminary analysis of functional variability in the Mousterian of Levallois facies. American Anthropologist 68:238-295.

Wynn, Thomas and Frederick L. Coolidge 2004 The expert Neandertal mind. Journal of Human Evolution 46:467-487.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

Also Known As: Levallois prepared core technique

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