Advertisement

Mastering Hammer Use in Stone Knapping: An Experiment

  • Yoshihiro NishiakiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Replacement of Neanderthals by Modern Humans Series book series (RNMH)

Abstract

The art of chipped stone manufacturing is a result of repeated hammer use, which is enabled by the enhanced judgment and motor skills resulting from experiences of the knapper. Hammer accuracy should vary considerably according to the knappers’ skill levels. This article refers to an experiment to investigate how complete novices learn proper hammer use for core reduction. Results of the experiment show that the novices improved their command quickly through individual and social learning, but the progress plateaued soon thereafter. They also demonstrate that the novices learned from others, not only the knapping basics but also the posture required for the work. The role played by social learning in this process highlights the significance of social environments for effective learning of chipped stone manufacturing in prehistory.

Keywords

Chipped stone technology Experimental archeology Expert knowledge Individual and social learning Hammerstone 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Analyses of the data presented in this paper were made possible with grants from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (22101002; 16H06408).

References

  1. Akazawa T, Nishiaki Y, Aoki A (eds) (2013) Dynamics of learning in Neanderthals and modern humans. Vol. 1: cultural perspectives. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Akazawa T, Ogiwara N, Tanabe H, Terashima H (eds) (2014) Dynamics of learning in Neanderthals and modern humans. Vol. 2: cognitive perspectives. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Alperson-Afil N, Hovers E (2005) Differential use of space in the Neanderthal site of Amud cave, Israel. Eurasian Prehistory 3(1):3–22Google Scholar
  4. Audouze F, Cattin MI (2011) Flint wealth versus scarcity. Consequences Magdalenian Apprenticeship. Lithic Technol 36:109–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bodu P, Karlin C, Ploux S (1990) Who’s who? The Magdalenian flintknappers of Pincevent, France. In: Cziesla E, Eickhoff S, Arts N, Winter D (eds) The big puzzle: international symposium on refitting stone artifacts, Monrepos, 1987. Holos Verlag, Bonn, pp 143–163Google Scholar
  6. Böeda E (2014) Le concept Levallois: variabilité des méthodes, Preface de Huber Forestier. Archéo-éditions, PrigonrieuxGoogle Scholar
  7. Bril B, Roux V, Dietrich G (2005) Stone knapping: Khambhat (India), a unique opportunity? In: Roux V, Bril B (eds) Stone knapping: the necessary conditions for a uniquely hominin behaviour, MacDonald Institute monograph. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 53–71Google Scholar
  8. Callahan E (1975) A lithic workshop symposium. Newsletter Lithic Technol l5(1–2):3–5Google Scholar
  9. Chazan M (2012) Handaxes, concepts and teaching. Mind Brain Educ 6:197–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Darmark K (2010) Measuring skill in the production of bifacial pressure flaked points: a multivariate approach using the flip-test. J Archaeol Sci 37:2308–2315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Derevenski S (2000) Children and material culture. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Dibble HL, Rezek Z (2009) New introducing a new experimental design for controlled studies of flake formation: results for exterior platform angle, platform depth, angle of blow, velocity, and force. J Archaeol Sci 36:1945–1954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dibble HL, Whittaker C (1981) New experimental evidence on the relation between percussion flaking and flake variation. J Archaeol Sci 8:283–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eren MI, Bradley AB, Sampson GC (2011a) Middle Paleolithic skill level and the individual knapper: an experiment. Am Antiq 76(2):229–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eren MI, Lycett ST, Roos CI, Sampson GC (2011b) Toolstone constraints on knapping skill: Levallois reduction with two different raw materials. J Archaeol Sci 38:2731–2739CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ferguson J (2003) An experimental test of the conservation of raw materials in flintknapping skill acquisition. Lithic Technol 28(2):11–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ferguson J (2008) The when, where, and how of novices in craft production. J Archaeol Method Theory 15:51–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Finlay N (1997) Kid knapping: the missing children in lithic analysis. In: Moore J, Scott E (eds) Invisible people and processes: writing gender and childhood into European archaeology. Leicester University Press, London, pp 203–212Google Scholar
  19. Finlay N (2008) Blank concerns: issues of skill and consistency in the replication of Scottish later Mesolithic blades. J Archaeol Method Theory 15:68–90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fischer A (1989) A late Paleolithic “school” of flint-knapping at Trollesgave. Den Acta Archaeol 60:33–49Google Scholar
  21. Geribas N, Mosquera M, Verges JM (2010) What novice knappers have to learn to become expert stone toolmakers. J Archaeol Sci 37:2857–2870CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gilead I, Fabian P (1990) Conjoinable artefacts from the Middle Palaeolithic open-air site Farah II, northern Negev, Israel: a preliminary report. In: Cziesla E, Eickhoff S, Arts N, Winter D (eds) The big puzzle: international symposium on refitting stone artifacts, Monrepos, 1987. Holos Verlag, Bonn, pp 101–112Google Scholar
  23. Grimm L (2000) Apprentice flintknapping. Relating material culture and social practice in the Upper Paleolithic. In: Sofaer-Derevenski J (ed) Children and material culture. Routledge, London, pp 53–71Google Scholar
  24. Hawcroft J, Dennell R (2000) Neanderthal cognitive life history and its implications for material culture. In: Sofaer-Derevenski J (ed) Children and material culture. Routledge, London, pp 89–99Google Scholar
  25. Hogberg A (2008) Playing with flint: tracing a child’s imitation of adult work in lithic assemblages. J Archaeol Method Theory 15:112–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hovers E (2009) Learning from mistakes: flaking accidents and knapping skills in the assemblage of A. L. 894 (Hadar, Ethiopia). In: Schick K, Toth N (eds) The cutting edge: new approaches to the archaeology of human origins. Stone Age Institute, Gosport, pp 137–150Google Scholar
  27. Inizan ML, Reduron-Ballinger M, Roche H (1999) Technology and terminology of knapped stone, vol 5. Cercle de Recherches et d’Etudes Préhistoriques, ParisGoogle Scholar
  28. Jelinek J (1989) Primitive hunters: a search for man the hunter. Hamlyn, PragueGoogle Scholar
  29. Johnson LL (1978) A history of flintknapping experimentation. Curr Anthropol 19(2):337–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kosuge M (2003) Manufacturing obsidian tools. In: Daikuhara Y (ed) Stone road: obsidian exchange in Jomon period. Annaka Museum, Annaka, pp 48–51. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  31. Loshe JC (2010) Evidence for learning and skill transmission in Clovis blade production and core maintenance. In: Bradley B, Collins MB, Hemmings AC (eds) Clovis technology. International Monographs in Prehistory. No. 17, Ann Arbor, pp 157–177Google Scholar
  32. Lycett SJ, Gowlett JAJ (2008) On questions surrounding the Acheulean “tradition”. World Archaeol 40:295–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lycett SJ, von Cramon-Taubadel N, Eren MI (2016) Levallois: potential implications for learning and cultural transmission capacities. Lithic Technol 41(1):19–38Google Scholar
  34. Matsuzawa T (1979) Significance of knapping experimentation in stone tool studies: what becomes clear by interpreting context of facetted surface. Archaeol J 167:16–19. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  35. Matsuzawa T (1995) Manufacturing stone tools of the Iwajuku Age. In: Wakatsuki S (ed) Guide to the Iwajuku Age. Iwajuku Museum, Kasagake-machi, pp 179–214. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  36. Nichols J, Allstadt DA (1978) Hinge fracture of novice flintknappers. Lithic Technol 7(1):1–2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nonaka T, Bril B, Rein R (2010) How do stone knappers predict and control the outcome of flaking? Implications for understanding early stone tool technology. J Hum Evol 59:155–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pelegrin J (1995) Technologie lithique. CNRS, ParisGoogle Scholar
  39. Pelegrin J (2005) Remarks about archaeological techniques and methods of knapping. In: Roux V, Bril B (eds) Stone knapping: the necessary conditions for a uniquely hominin behaviour, MacDonald Institute monograph. Oxford Univ Press, Oxford, pp 23–33Google Scholar
  40. Petrequin P, Jeunesse C (1995) La hache de pierre. Editions Errance, ParisGoogle Scholar
  41. Pigeot N (1990) Technical and social actors. Flintknapping specialist and apprentices at Magdalenian Ettiolles. Archaeol Rev Camb 9(1):126–141Google Scholar
  42. Pigeot N (2010) Éléments d'une organisation sociale Magdalénienne à Étiolles du savoir-faire au statut social des personnes. In: Zubrow EB, Audouze F, Enloe JG (eds) The Magdalenian household: unraveling domesticity. State University New York Press, Albany, pp 198–212Google Scholar
  43. Renfrew C, Bahn P (2000) Archaeology: theories, methods and practice. Thames and Hudson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Savage-Rumbaugh S, Lewin R (1994) Kanzi: the ape at the brink of the human mind. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  45. Schlanger N (1996) Understanding Levallois: lithic technology and cognitive archaeology. Camb Archaeol J 6:231–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shea JJ (2006) Child’s play: reflections on the invisibility of children in the Paleolithic record. Evol Anthropol: Issues, News, Rev 15(6):212–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shea JJ (2015) Making and using stone tools: advice for learners and teachers and insights for archaeologists. Lithic Technol 40(3):231–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shelley PH (1990) Variation in lithic assemblages: an experiment. J Field Archaeol 17:187–193Google Scholar
  49. Stapert D (2007a) Neanderthal children and their flints. PalArch’s J Archaeol Northwest Eur 1(2):16–39Google Scholar
  50. Stapert D (2007b) Youngsters knapping flint near the campfire: an alternative view of site K at Maastricht-belvedere (the Netherlands). Archaol Korrespondenzbl 37:19–34Google Scholar
  51. Sternke F, Sorensen M (2009) The identification of children’s flintknapping products in Mesolithic Scandinavia. In: Mccartan SB, Schulting R, Warren G, Woodman P (eds) Mesolithic horizons: papers presented at the seventh international conference on the Mesolithic in Europe, Belfast 2005. Oxbow books, Oxford, pp 722–729Google Scholar
  52. Stout D (2002) Skill and cognition in stone tool production: an ethnographic case study from Irian Jaya. Curr Anthropol 43:693–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Stout D (2005) The social and cultural context of stone-knapping skill acquisition. In: Roux V, Bril B (eds) Stone knapping: the necessary conditions for a uniquely hominin behaviour. MacDonald Institute Monograph. Oxford Univ Press, Oxford, pp 331–340Google Scholar
  54. Stout D, Apel J, Commander J, Roberts M (2014) Late Acheulean technology and cognition at Boxgrove, UK. J Archaeol Sci 41:576–590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Takakura J (2013) Using lithic refitting to investigate the skill learning process: lessons from upper Paleolithic assemblages at the shirataki sites in Hokkaido, northern Japan. In: Akazawa T, Nishiaki Y, Aoki K (eds) Dynamics of learning in Neanderthals and modern humans, Vol 1: cultural perspectives. Springer, New York, pp 151–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tokitsu Y (2003) Cognition skill of archaeologists. In: Matsumoto N, Nakazono S, Tokitsu Y (eds) Cognitive archaeology. Aoki Shoten, Tokyo, pp 157–180. (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  57. Tostevin G (2012) Seeing lithics: a middle-range theory for testing for cultural transmission in the pleistocene. Oxbow Books, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  58. Van Peer P (2007) Refitting of reduction sequences, formal classification systems and middle palaeolithic individuals at work. In: Schurmans E, De Bie M (eds) Fitting rocks: lithic refitting examined. BAR international series 1596. Archaeopress, Oxford, pp 91–104Google Scholar
  59. Van Peer P, Vermeersch PM, Paulissen E (2009) Taramsa 1: chert quarrying, lithic technology and the human burial. Leuven Univ Press, LeuvenGoogle Scholar
  60. Watanabe H, Kuchikura Y (1973) Control precision in the flaking of the Levallois flakes from the Amud cave. Technological approach to the study of early man's manual dexterity. Paléorient 1:89–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Weedman K (2005) Gender and stone tools: an ethnographic study of the Konso and Gamo hideworkers of southern Ethiopia. In: Frink L, Weedman K (eds) Gender and hide production. Altamira, Lanham, pp 175–196Google Scholar
  62. Whittaker JC (1994) Flintknapping: making and understanding stone tools. Univ Texas Press, AustinGoogle Scholar
  63. Winton V (2005) An investigation of knapping-skill development in the manufacture of Palaeolithic handaxes. In: Roux V, Bril B (eds) Stone knapping: the necessary conditions for a uniquely hominin behaviour. MacDonald Institute Monograph. Oxford Univ Press, Oxford, pp 109–116Google Scholar
  64. Wynn T, Coolidge FL (2004) The expert Neandertal mind. J Hum Evol 46:467–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University MuseumThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations