Les Gestes de la Préhistoire

An audiovisual encyclopedia to discover prehistory

Levallois Flake

Instrument for cutting plant and meat materials

300 000 and 45 000 years


… flake whose form is predetermined by a special preparation of the core prior to its removal …
F. Bordes, Typologie du paléolithique inférieur et moyen. Bordeaux. Delmas 1961


Commentary : 

While most flakes must be retouched before they can be used, Levallois flakes already have a sharp edge around their entire periphery, when they are produced. The successful production of an immediately usable flake required the know-how of a skilled knapper.

Though it can be used with the bare hand, covered with a soft skin, or held in a handful of wax or bitumen, it is most effective when hafted. Hafting renders the flake extremely efficient, allowing wood, plant materials and meat, to be powerfully and precisely cut.

The production of Levallois flakes marks a clear advance in flint working during the course of human evolution. This perfect mastery of knapping methods allowed Neanderthals to conquer nearly all the European territories.


Technical informations

Length: 05:05

Resolution : Full HD / 1920x1080

Video format : 16 / 9