What was the Levallois Technique?

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The Levallois Technique was a technique for making stone tools that arose in the Middle Paleolithic period and was perfected sometime in the range of 75,000 years ago.  It is associated with Neandertal people.

The Levallois Technique was a major improvement on what had come before.  Before that, stone tools tended to be “core tools,” made out of large chunks of rock.  These were typically things like hand axes.  With the coming of the Levallois Technique, people could make smaller and much more versatile tools.  The technique involved preparing a core by knapping it into a specific shape.   This then allowed the toolmaker to break flakes off the core.   The little flakes, rather than the core itself, would then be used as tools.  This allowed the creation of such tools as spear heads.  For this reason, the Levallois Technique was a very important advance in human technology.

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