Lithics and Learning: Communities of Practice at Kharaneh IV

Author(s): Felicia De Pena

Year: 2018


Flintknappers during the Levantine Epipaleolithic were proficient at microlith production, these skills were learned and passed down from one flintknapping generation to another as no one is born with the innate ability to flintknap. By utilizing practice theory and a chaîne opératoire approach to the Epipaleolithic chipped stone tool reduction sequences of narrow-nosed cores at Kharaneh IV, I strive to identify how individuals learned to flintknap, from raw material acquisition to the production of the final tool. I view the knowledge transmission process as a proxy for culture: as apprentices took on new ideas and identities to fit within a community of practice, the apprentice may have lost (or maintained) kinship ties yet subscribed to a more meaningful relationship within their community of practice. Kharaneh IV is an Early and Middle Epipaleolithic aggregation site well-situated for this research due to its well-preserved stratigraphy, numerous caches, and hut structures, which allows for observation of repetitive practices and identification of changes in technique. Research is currently in the nascent stages of core refitting: future experimental work is planned to establish baseline knowledge regarding the relationship between skill level and social structures that influence the production process.

Cite this Record

Lithics and Learning: Communities of Practice at Kharaneh IV. Felicia De Pena. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443160)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: 34.277; min lat: 13.069 ; max long: 61.699; max lat: 42.94 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21565