Flake modification in European Early and Early-Middle Pleistocene stone tool assemblages

Deborah Barsky*, Joan Garcia, Kenneth Martínez, Robert Sala, Yossi Zaidner, Eudald Carbonell, Isidro Toro-Moyano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Early and Early-Middle Pleistocene archeological sites provide data about human dispersals into Europe from at least 1.2Ma. Up to now, the fragmentary archeological record indicated only sporadic hominin presence, with punctated migration "waves" not necessarily leading to colonization. We consider an alternative demographical picture in which hominin presence in Europe could have been sustained from this time. This paper explores the possibility that early hominin groups confronted different landscapes by adapting their technology to changing ecosystems. Innovative technological achievements were developed into new forms out of potential existing within the variability of early stone industries, leading to the production of a more diversified toolkit. Among these innovations, the increased secondary knapping of flakes points to conceptually more complex production sequences. This paper proposes a comparative view of secondary knapped flakes from some key Early-Middle Pleistocene sites in order to explore the hypothesis of demographical stability in Western Europe from this time.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)140-154
Number of pages15
JournalQuaternary International
StatePublished - 6 Dec 2013


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