Classical Levallois blade technology

The fact that certain forms of essentially typical Levallois cores were intended for the production of elongated, blade-like flakes has been recognized sporadically in the literature throughout the present century (e.g. Commont 1909, 1913; Breuil & Kozlowski 1932; Bordes 1961a: 72). The distinctively Levallois aspect of these cores lies in the deliberate preparation of a continuous striking platform extending around the circumference of the core, from which a series of initial, preparatory flakes were struck from all parts of the perimeter, converging towards the centre (Fig. 3.18). In every sense, therefore, this technique seems to be entirely Levallois in its basic approach to core reduction. The adaptation of these cores specifically for blade production was achieved in the later stages of core reduction by the detachment of a succession of elongated, narrow flakes extending down the greater part of the length of the core and struck from specially prepared platforms at either one or both ends of the core. As shown in Figure 3.18, the repetition of this flaking over a single, prepared surface led to the production of cores with regular and clearly defined scar patterns running vertically down the face of the core and consequently to the production of elongated, parallel-sided blades. In terms of Bo√ęda's definitions (1988a), these procedures would be grouped broadly under his heading of recurrent Levallois techniques. Nevertheless, the flaking strategy was clearly designed specifically for the production of elongated blade-like forms and can be regarded in this sense as an explicitly blade-producing technology.

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