Predetermined flake production at the Lower/Middle Paleolithic boundary: Yabrudian scraper-blank technology.

PLoS ONE. 2014;9(9):e106293 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0106293


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

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Ron Shimelmitz

Steven L Kuhn

Avraham Ronen

Mina Weinstein-Evron


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Editorial Board

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Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

While predetermined d├ębitage technologies are recognized beginning with the middle Acheulian, the Middle Paleolithic is usually associated with a sharp increase in their use. A study of scraper-blank technology from three Yabrudian assemblages retrieved from the early part of the Acheulo-Yabrudian complex of Tabun Cave (ca. 415-320 kyr) demonstrates a calculated and preplanned production, even if it does not show the same complexity and elaboration as in the Levallois technology. These scraper dominated assemblages show an organization of production based on an intensive use of predetermination blank technology already in place at the end of the Lower Paleolithic of the Levant. These results provide a novel perspective on the differences and similarities between the Lower and Middle Paleolithic industries. We suggest that there was a change in the paradigm in the way hominins exploited stone tools: in many Middle Paleolithic assemblages the potential of the stone tools for hafting was a central feature, in the Lower Paleolithic ergonometric considerations of manual prehension were central to the design of blanks and tools.