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Assessing the origins of Levallois through lower Palaeolithic core variation: a comparative study of simple prepared cores in northwest Europe

Assessing the origins of Levallois through lower Palaeolithic core variation: a comparative study of simple prepared cores in northwest Europe
Assessing the origins of Levallois through lower Palaeolithic core variation: a comparative study of simple prepared cores in northwest Europe
The widespread appearance of Levallois technology approximately 300,000 years ago in Europe and Africa is associated with significant behavioural and cognitive changes. The origins of this technique, however, are still highly debated. Fully developed Levallois reduction sequences seem to have their roots in a lesser-understood technique referred to as either ‘proto’, or ‘reduced’ Levallois, and more recently as Simple Prepared Core (SPC) technology.

This thesis examines the technological relationship between SPCs and the Levallois technique in eight British and two Belgian assemblages. Whilst exploring the significance of the presence of SPC technology in the Lower Palaeolithic archaeological record of northwest Europe, this research also assesses the implications for hominin behaviour and cognition.

Results demonstrate identical reduction techniques at nine of the ten sites studied, allowing for the construction of a new overarching technological definition of SPC technology, which is now accepted to be present on a significantly wider scale both temporally and geographically. A clear conceptual link between SPC technology and the Levallois technique is apparent regarding the approach to the volume of the core and the targeted end product. However the lack of shaping of the preferential flaking surface prevents the SPC end products from being considered predetermined. As it is the predetermination of the final product that is linked with the cognitive complexity required to implement the Levallois technique, the hominins responsible for SPCs cannot be considered to demonstrate the same level of cognition as those with Levallois technology.

The implications of these results suggest hominins using the SPC technique were conceptually on the path towards the Levallois technique but cannot be considered to demonstrate the same behavioural and cognitive capacity.
Bolton, Lucie
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Bolton, Lucie
d3367a23-ab61-4a96-8672-758a0c660465
Mcnabb, John
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Davies, Simon
5042ec27-3fcd-4ddb-bc0c-8c5578a0e50b
Sturt, Fraser
442e14e1-136f-4159-bd8e-b002bf6b95f6

Bolton, Lucie (2015) Assessing the origins of Levallois through lower Palaeolithic core variation: a comparative study of simple prepared cores in northwest Europe. University of Southampton, Faculty Of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 332pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

The widespread appearance of Levallois technology approximately 300,000 years ago in Europe and Africa is associated with significant behavioural and cognitive changes. The origins of this technique, however, are still highly debated. Fully developed Levallois reduction sequences seem to have their roots in a lesser-understood technique referred to as either ‘proto’, or ‘reduced’ Levallois, and more recently as Simple Prepared Core (SPC) technology.

This thesis examines the technological relationship between SPCs and the Levallois technique in eight British and two Belgian assemblages. Whilst exploring the significance of the presence of SPC technology in the Lower Palaeolithic archaeological record of northwest Europe, this research also assesses the implications for hominin behaviour and cognition.

Results demonstrate identical reduction techniques at nine of the ten sites studied, allowing for the construction of a new overarching technological definition of SPC technology, which is now accepted to be present on a significantly wider scale both temporally and geographically. A clear conceptual link between SPC technology and the Levallois technique is apparent regarding the approach to the volume of the core and the targeted end product. However the lack of shaping of the preferential flaking surface prevents the SPC end products from being considered predetermined. As it is the predetermination of the final product that is linked with the cognitive complexity required to implement the Levallois technique, the hominins responsible for SPCs cannot be considered to demonstrate the same level of cognition as those with Levallois technology.

The implications of these results suggest hominins using the SPC technique were conceptually on the path towards the Levallois technique but cannot be considered to demonstrate the same behavioural and cognitive capacity.

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More information

Published date: December 2015
Additional Information: Appendix B has not been uploaded, but is included as 3 CDs in the back of the print copy.
Organisations: University of Southampton, Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 389337
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/389337
PURE UUID: 09369150-b33f-410c-ba25-d341780ebd70

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Date deposited: 07 Mar 2016 12:00
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:34

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Contributors

Author: Lucie Bolton
Thesis advisor: John Mcnabb
Thesis advisor: Simon Davies
Thesis advisor: Fraser Sturt

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