Why Levallois? A Morphometric Comparison of Experimental ‘Preferential’ Levallois Flakes versus Debitage Flakes
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{"title"=>"Why Levallois? A morphometric comparison of experimental 'preferential' Levallois flakes versus debitage flakes", "type"=>"journal", "authors"=>[{"first_name"=>"Metin I.", "last_name"=>"Eren", "scopus_author_id"=>"23975681200"}, {"first_name"=>"Stephen J.", "last_name"=>"Lycett", "scopus_author_id"=>"9434693200"}], "year"=>2012, "source"=>"PLoS ONE", "identifiers"=>{"pmid"=>"22291888", "doi"=>"10.1371/journal.pone.0029273", "sgr"=>"84856112566", "isbn"=>"1932-6203", "scopus"=>"2-s2.0-84856112566", "issn"=>"19326203", "pui"=>"364129363"}, "id"=>"03b0ff99-1e25-380a-9287-0e9b05a3e29e", "abstract"=>"BACKGROUND: Middle Palaeolithic stone artefacts referred to as 'Levallois' have caused considerable debate regarding issues of technological predetermination, cognition and linguistic capacities in extinct hominins. Their association with both Neanderthals and early modern humans has, in particular, fuelled such debate. Yet, controversy exists regarding the extent of 'predetermination' and 'standardization' in so-called 'preferential Levallois flakes' (PLFs). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using an experimental and morphometric approach, we assess the degree of standardization in PLFs compared to the flakes produced during their manufacture. PLFs possess specific properties that unite them robustly as a group or 'category' of flake. The properties that do so, relate most strongly to relative flake thicknesses across their surface area. PLFs also exhibit significantly less variability than the flakes generated during their production. Again, this is most evident in flake thickness variables. A further aim of our study was to assess whether the particular PLF attributes identified during our analyses can be related to current knowledge regarding flake functionality and utility. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: PLFs are standardized in such a manner that they may be considered 'predetermined' with regard to a specific set of properties that distinguishes them statistically from a majority of other flakes. Moreover, their attributes can be linked to factors that, based on current knowledge, are desirable features in flake tools (e.g. durability, capacity for retouch, and reduction of torque). As such, our results support the hypothesis that the lengthy, multi-phase, and hierarchically organized process of Levallois reduction was a deliberate, engineered strategy orientated toward specific goals. In turn, our results support suggestions that Levallois knapping relied on a cognitive capacity for long-term working memory. This is consistent with recent evidence suggesting that cognitive distinctions between later Pleistocene hominins such as the Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans were not as sharp as some scholars have previously suggested.", "link"=>"http://www.mendeley.com/research/levallois-morphometric-comparison-experimental-preferential-levallois-flakes-versus-debitage-flakes", "reader_count"=>109, "reader_count_by_academic_status"=>{"Unspecified"=>4, "Professor > Associate Professor"=>7, "Researcher"=>25, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>5, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>28, "Student > Postgraduate"=>6, "Student > Master"=>14, "Other"=>5, "Student > Bachelor"=>3, "Lecturer"=>4, "Professor"=>8}, "reader_count_by_user_role"=>{"Unspecified"=>4, "Professor > Associate Professor"=>7, "Researcher"=>25, "Student > Doctoral Student"=>5, "Student > Ph. D. Student"=>28, "Student > Postgraduate"=>6, "Student > Master"=>14, "Other"=>5, "Student > Bachelor"=>3, "Lecturer"=>4, "Professor"=>8}, "reader_count_by_subject_area"=>{"Unspecified"=>14, "Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>1, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>9, "Medicine and Dentistry"=>1, "Arts and Humanities"=>42, "Social Sciences"=>30, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>11, "Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>1}, "reader_count_by_subdiscipline"=>{"Medicine and Dentistry"=>{"Medicine and Dentistry"=>1}, "Social Sciences"=>{"Social Sciences"=>30}, "Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>{"Earth and Planetary Sciences"=>11}, "Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>{"Economics, Econometrics and Finance"=>1}, "Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>{"Agricultural and Biological Sciences"=>9}, "Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>{"Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology"=>1}, "Unspecified"=>{"Unspecified"=>14}, "Arts and Humanities"=>{"Arts and Humanities"=>42}}, "reader_count_by_country"=>{"United States"=>2, "Brazil"=>1, "United Kingdom"=>1, "Australia"=>1, "France"=>1, "Portugal"=>2, "Spain"=>1, "Russia"=>1}, "group_count"=>0}

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Figshare

  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/688315"], "description"=>"<p>Two distinct surfaces intersect and define a ‘plane of intersection’ (a). Levallois flakes are removed parallel to the plane of intersection (b). Distal (c) and lateral (d) convexities determine the distal and lateral termination (i.e. flake margin) of the ‘preferential Levallois flake’ removed from the core via hard hammer percussion (e and f).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["prepared", "levallois"], "article_id"=>358816, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.g001", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>11, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_The_8216_Volumetric_8217_concept_of_prepared_Levallois_cores_/358816", "title"=>"The ‘Volumetric’ concept of prepared Levallois cores.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:26:56"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/688420"], "description"=>"<p>Plot of discriminant functions 1 (x axis) and 2 (y axis) resulting from the DFA (see <a href=\"http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273#pone-0029273-t002\" target=\"_blank\"><b>Table 2</b></a> for classification scores).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["discriminant", "functions", "resulting", "dfa", "classification"], "article_id"=>358910, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.g002", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>3, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Plot_of_discriminant_functions_1_x_axis_and_2_y_axis_resulting_from_the_DFA_see_Table_2_for_classification_scores_/358910", "title"=>"Plot of discriminant functions 1 (x axis) and 2 (y axis) resulting from the DFA (see <b>Table 2</b> for classification scores).", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:28:30"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/688546"], "description"=>"1<p>Overall Mean CV values (%) are 35.28 for PLFs and 53.23 for debitage flakes.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["cv", "descriptive"], "article_id"=>359038, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.t003", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>1, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Results_of_CV_analysis_and_descriptive_statistics_/359038", "title"=>"Results of CV analysis and descriptive statistics.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:30:38"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/688601"], "description"=>"<p>List of variables measured for each flake analysed (full descriptions available in S2).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["variables", "flake", "analysed", "descriptions"], "article_id"=>359089, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.t001", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>1, "page_views"=>7, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_List_of_variables_measured_for_each_flake_analysed_full_descriptions_available_in_S2_/359089", "title"=>"List of variables measured for each flake analysed (full descriptions available in S2).", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:31:29"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/688484"], "description"=>"<p>Schematic representation of the relationship between the original cross-section of a flake (i.e. evenness of thickness across surface area) and the total potential number of instances of resharpening (redrawn and modified after Turq, 1992).</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["cross-section", "flake", "evenness", "thickness", "instances", "resharpening", "modified"], "article_id"=>358969, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.g003", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>1, "page_views"=>2, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Schematic_representation_of_the_relationship_between_the_original_cross_section_of_a_flake_i_e_evenness_of_thickness_across_surface_area_and_the_total_potential_number_of_instances_of_resharpening_redrawn_and_modified_after_Turq_1992_/358969", "title"=>"Schematic representation of the relationship between the original cross-section of a flake (i.e. evenness of thickness across surface area) and the total potential number of instances of resharpening (redrawn and modified after Turq, 1992).", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>1, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:29:29"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/688571"], "description"=>"<p>Results of Discriminant Function Analysis.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["discriminant"], "article_id"=>359063, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.t002", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>0, "page_views"=>3, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Results_of_Discriminant_Function_Analysis_/359063", "title"=>"Results of Discriminant Function Analysis.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:31:03"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/351093", "https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/351191", "https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/351296", "https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/351330", "https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/351380"], "description"=>"<div><h3>Background</h3><p>Middle Palaeolithic stone artefacts referred to as ‘Levallois’ have caused considerable debate regarding issues of technological predetermination, cognition and linguistic capacities in extinct hominins. Their association with both Neanderthals and early modern humans has, in particular, fuelled such debate. Yet, controversy exists regarding the extent of ‘predetermination’ and ‘standardization’ in so-called ‘preferential Levallois flakes’ (PLFs).</p> <h3>Methodology/Principal Findings</h3><p>Using an experimental and morphometric approach, we assess the degree of standardization in PLFs compared to the flakes produced during their manufacture. PLFs possess specific properties that unite them robustly as a group or ‘category’ of flake. The properties that do so, relate most strongly to relative flake thicknesses across their surface area. PLFs also exhibit significantly less variability than the flakes generated during their production. Again, this is most evident in flake thickness variables. A further aim of our study was to assess whether the <em>particular</em> PLF attributes identified during our analyses can be related to current knowledge regarding flake functionality and utility.</p> <h3>Conclusions/Significance</h3><p>PLFs are standardized in such a manner that they may be considered ‘predetermined’ with regard to a specific set of properties that distinguishes them statistically from a majority of other flakes. Moreover, their attributes can be linked to factors that, based on current knowledge, are desirable features in flake tools (e.g. durability, capacity for retouch, and reduction of torque). As such, our results support the hypothesis that the lengthy, multi-phase, and hierarchically organized process of Levallois reduction was a deliberate, <em>engineered</em> strategy orientated toward specific goals. In turn, our results support suggestions that Levallois knapping relied on a cognitive capacity for long-term working memory. This is consistent with recent evidence suggesting that cognitive distinctions between later Pleistocene hominins such as the Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans were not as sharp as some scholars have previously suggested.</p> </div>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["morphometric", "levallois", "flakes", "debitage"], "article_id"=>129400, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>["https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.s001", "https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.s002", "https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.s003", "https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.s004", "https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.s005"], "stats"=>{"downloads"=>12, "page_views"=>11, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/Why_Levallois_A_Morphometric_Comparison_of_Experimental_Preferential_Levallois_Flakes_versus_Debitage_Flakes/129400", "title"=>"Why Levallois? A Morphometric Comparison of Experimental ‘Preferential’ Levallois Flakes versus Debitage Flakes", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>4, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:36:40"}
  • {"files"=>["https://ndownloader.figshare.com/files/688629"], "description"=>"<p>Summary data for size-adjusted thickness data.</p>", "links"=>[], "tags"=>["size-adjusted", "thickness"], "article_id"=>359123, "categories"=>["Ecology", "Evolutionary Biology"], "users"=>["Metin I. Eren", "Stephen J. Lycett"], "doi"=>"https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0029273.t004", "stats"=>{"downloads"=>1, "page_views"=>2, "likes"=>0}, "figshare_url"=>"https://figshare.com/articles/_Summary_data_for_size_adjusted_thickness_data_/359123", "title"=>"Summary data for size-adjusted thickness data.", "pos_in_sequence"=>0, "defined_type"=>3, "published_date"=>"2012-01-23 02:32:03"}

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Relative Metric

{"start_date"=>"2012-01-01T00:00:00Z", "end_date"=>"2012-12-31T00:00:00Z", "subject_areas"=>[{"subject_area"=>"/Biology and life sciences", "average_usage"=>[322, 550, 671, 773, 864, 955, 1048, 1135, 1223, 1308, 1387, 1465, 1534, 1602, 1673, 1744, 1813, 1885, 1955, 2026, 2093, 2160, 2228, 2290, 2349]}, {"subject_area"=>"/Biology and life sciences/Paleontology", "average_usage"=>[515, 808, 907, 1032, 1129, 1219, 1316, 1426, 1532, 1602, 1675, 1771, 1798, 1933, 2015, 2088, 2152, 2219, 2280, 2360, 2453, 2503, 2615, 2712, 2807]}, {"subject_area"=>"/Earth sciences/Paleontology", "average_usage"=>[512, 778, 908, 1007, 1121, 1219, 1313, 1420, 1525, 1602, 1663, 1754, 1803, 1885, 1950, 2033, 2125, 2230, 2316, 2410, 2481, 2569, 2659, 2753, 2831]}, {"subject_area"=>"/Social sciences/Anthropology", "average_usage"=>[569, 875, 1014, 1136, 1234, 1362, 1475, 1596, 1772, 1895, 2037, 2150, 2252, 2430, 2529, 2629, 2714, 2777, 2904, 2987, 3107, 3219, 3286, 3357, 3440]}, {"subject_area"=>"/Social sciences/Linguistics", "average_usage"=>[300, 519, 627, 708, 779, 867, 951, 1007, 1089, 1155, 1239, 1297, 1371, 1432, 1497, 1566, 1660, 1727, 1783, 1839, 1933, 1995, 2064, 2109, 2135]}]}
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