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2021-08-09 15:12:24   •   ID: 2261

Self Evident: Reading Neanderthal skills

Figure 1
Figure 1 and 2 displays the ventral and dorsal side of a retouched leaf-shaped to quadrangular Levallois "Point"

Today, the commune of Baron is located in the department Oise, in the region Picardie. Currently Baron has a population of about 800 inhabitants and an area of 2147 ha.

Interestingly Baron is located only a few km from the famous Versigny site, already introduced into the Blog- see here: 1456

This post shows a very symmetric Levallois Point made from local Flint and was found during the 1930ies as a stray find in Baron. It was semi - abruptly and regular continuously retouched on the convergent margins on its dorsal side.

There is no single indication, that the point was reworked-what you see seems to be the pure idea of its maker, -a Neanderthal. He or She carefully planned and subsequently skilfully executed the artefact at around 50 k.a. BP. This impression remains self-evident - at least in my opinion.

A very similar, but partly reworked example, made from a non-Levallois quadrangular flake from the Château de la Roche-Courbon site can be seen here: 1636 - a different technique but nearly the same result.

Figure 2
Functional requirements together with learned sophisticated skills of the Flint knapper were the most important prerequisites for the creation of this artifact.

Regarding the design of the tool, shown here, I will not use the term of a “mental template", agreeing with Philip G. Chase that it is neither useful nor necessary for the often so tiering discussion about differences in the cognitive competence between AHMs and their Cousins.

Fortunately the debate has moved from the influential “AHMs were the winners in all disciplines” view towards a more reasonable position- namely that different contemporaneous Hominins had comparable modes of neuronal organisation.

This was recently shown by equal lithic knapping skills - mainly characterised by „Tabun-C” Levallois blank production, site use, modes of subsidence organisation and social life of contemporaneous H.Sapiens, Neanderthals and The “Nesher Ramla Hominids” in Israel at the MIS6/5 boundary (Hershkovitz et al. 2021) - times have changed and are still changing……

Chase`s still convincing arguments from 2008 are found in one of the attached files.