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Stone Age Site Challenges Assumptions About Human Technology

Publication Date: 26 September, 2014


Early Levallois technology and the Lower to Middle Paleolithic transition in the Southern Caucasus

Science 26 September 2014:
Vol. 345 no. 6204 pp. 1609-1613
DOI: 10.1126/science.1256484

D. S. Adler1,*, K. N. Wilkinson2, S. Blockley3, D. F. Mark4, R. Pinhasi5, B. A. Schmidt-Magee1, S. Nahapetyan6, C. Mallol7, F. Berna8, P. J. Glauberman1, Y. Raczynski-Henk9, N. Wales1,10, E. Frahm11, O. Jöris12, A. MacLeod3, V. C. Smith13, V. L. Cullen13, B. Gasparian14

The Lower to Middle Paleolithic transition (~400,000 to 200,000 years ago) is marked by technical, behavioral, and anatomical changes among hominin populations throughout Africa and Eurasia. The replacement of bifacial stone tools, such as handaxes, by tools made on flakes detached from Levallois cores documents the most important conceptual shift in stone tool production strategies since the advent of bifacial technology more than one million years earlier and has been argued to result from the expansion of archaic Homo sapiens out of Africa. Our data from Nor Geghi 1, Armenia, record the earliest synchronic use of bifacial and Levallois technology outside Africa and are consistent with the hypothesis that this transition occurred independently within geographically dispersed, technologically precocious hominin populations with a shared technological ancestry.

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