A study was conducted by an international team of researchers which has revealed that Levallois cores meaning the carved stone tools, were put to use in Asia 80,000 to 170,000 years ago. These are symbolic of “multi tool” of the prehistoric world.
Till now these were not believed to have emerged in East Asia until 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. Ben Marwick, UW associate professor of anthropology stated that the Levallois cores came to China relatively recently with modern humans. Marwick believed that the Swiss Army knife of prehistoric tools were efficient and durable and at the same time necessary for a hunter gatherer society. The Levallois cores were versatile "blanks," used to spear, slice, scrape or dig. The artefacts that have been examined under this study have been extracted from Guanyindong Cave in Guizhou Province in the 1960s and 1970s. Marwick and other members put to use optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) in order to date the artefacts. The OSL has the capability of finding out the age by determining that exactly when a sediment sample was last exposed to the sun. Bo Li, an associate professor of archaeology at the University of Wollongong in Australia stated that it was slightly difficult to conduct a study on the present archaeological site because the site had been excavated around 40 years ago and has been exposed to sun and air for years. The researchers studied about 2,200 artefacts, bringing down the number of Levallois-style stone cores and flakes to 45. The study reveals that the ancient people there were as capable as anyone else. Pyramid construction, for one, appeared in at least three separate societies: the Egyptians, the Aztecs and the Mayans. In the evolution of tools, Levallois cores exhibit something of a middle age. Further manufacturing processes gave rise to more-refined blades made up of rocks and minerals that were more resistant to flaking, and composites that, for instance, combined a spear point with blades along the edge. Indeed, the appearance of the Levallois strategy represents a big increase in the complexity of technology because there are numerous steps that have to work in order to get the final product, compared to previous technologies.
By: Anuja Arora