From “Neanderthals and Their Contemporaries Engineered Stone Tools, Anthropologists Discover” (ScienceDaily, Jan. 24, 2012), we learn,
Levallois artifacts are flaked stone tools described by archaeologists as ‘prepared cores’ i.e. the stone core is shaped in a deliberate manner such that only after such specialised preparation could a prehistoric flintknapper remove a distinctive ‘Levallois flake’. Levallois flakes have long been suspected by researchers to be intentionally sought by prehistoric hominins for supposedly unique, standardised size and shape properties. However, such propositions were regarded as controversial by some, and in recent decades some researchers questioned whether Levallois tool production involved conscious, structured planning that resulted in predetermined, engineered products.
Now, an experimental study – in which a modern-day flintknapper replicated hundreds of Levallois artifacts – supports the notion that Levallois flakes were indeed engineered by prehistoric hominins.
It’s amazing how much Neanderthals have learned in the last three decades.