Lineal Levallois techniques

In terms of Boëda's definition lineal Levallois techniques are strategies designed essentially for production of only a single major flake removal from the prepared core surface. In this sense the definition coincides with the classic definition of Levallois flakes presented in most of the earlier textbooks (Fig. 3.3). In Boëda's research, these techniques were best represented at the site of Bagarre (Pas-de-Calais) in northern France which appears to date from a stage of the penultimate glaciation (Tuffreau & Zuate y

Zuber 1975). The basic flaking strategy here coincides precisely with his overall definition of the Levallois concept - i.e. involving the initial preparation of a continuous striking platform extending around the perimeter of the nodule followed by careful shaping of the upper surface to define a single, clearly predetermined and apparently preconceived shape of flake from the prepared surface (Boeda 1982, 1984, 1988a, 1993b). The main point emphasized by Boeda, however, is that the precise character and orientation of this preparatory flaking was manipulated in different ways to produce a variety of contrasting forms in the finished flakes (Fig. 3.6).

Figure 3.6 Examples of cores oriented towards the production of a single major Levallois flake (illustrating Boëda's lineal Levallois7 strategy) from the site of Bagorre (northern France). By different patterns of core preparation, flakes ranging in shape from rectangular (no. 1) to triangular (nos 2, 3) could be produced. After Boëda 1988a.

Figure 3.6 Examples of cores oriented towards the production of a single major Levallois flake (illustrating Boëda's lineal Levallois7 strategy) from the site of Bagorre (northern France). By different patterns of core preparation, flakes ranging in shape from rectangular (no. 1) to triangular (nos 2, 3) could be produced. After Boëda 1988a.

Levallois TechniqueLevallois Technique
(Israel). After Bar-Yosef & Meignen 1992.
Figure 3.8 Typical'Levallois points' and associated core forms. After Bordes 1961a.

Where the preparatory flaking was carried out in a predominantly radial or centripetal fashion from various points around the core perimeter, the resulting flakes are oval or rectangular in outline and show clear traces of this radial flaking on their dorsal surfaces. In other cases, however, the preparatory flaking was oriented either primarily or exclusively from either one or both ends of the core, leading to the production of flakes with a more elongated or triangular form (Fig. 3.6). At least some of the cores from Bagarre seem to have been intended for the production of typical, symmetrical 'Levallois points' of the kind illustrated in Figs 3.7 and 3.8. As

Boeda (1988a) stresses, the basic strategy of lineal Levallois flaking was therefore a highly flexible procedure which could be used to produce a variety of clearly differentiated forms of flakes simply by differing approaches in the initial stages of core preparation.

The notion of lineal Levallois techniques does not imply that the total capacity of a core was restricted to the production of only a single flake. As in all variants of Levallois techniques there was the opportunity, once the initial flake (or flakes) had been removed, to repeat the cycle of special preparation of the upper surface of the core to allow for the removal of further flakes from successively deeper levels in the core interior. In practice, sequences of up to four or five of these stratified flake removals could be produced in this way (Bradley 1977; Geneste 1985; Shche-linskii in Plisson 1988). The essence of the lineal procedure was simply that following the removal of each of these major flakes, a separate phase of preparation and reshaping of the core surface would be needed to allow for further flake removals.

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