Work package 5: Diagnosing knapping skill

Elementary gesture involved in human tool use: the role of expertise

Dr Blandine Bril, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
Dr Robert Rein, Groupe de Recherche Apprentissage et Contexte, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales mail
Dr Tetsushi Nonaka, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales mail
Dr Francis Wenban-Smith, Dept of Archaeology, University of Southampton
Dr Lena Biryukova
Dr Gilles Dietrich

Start 01/ 10/2006 End 30/09/2009

Project 5


To understand elementary gestures involved in human tool production and use by studying adaptation of the movement to modifications of the dynamic of the tools (hammer) in striking movements.


Knapping experiments with modern experts and beginners, in order to analyse how a stroke is produced by the hammer-arm moving system. The focus is on the adaptive capacity of knappers depending on their level of dexterity.

Analysis of the capacity of professional craftsmen of different levels of expertise to adapt to different properties of the tool (hammer of different weight and length of the handle).

Analysis of the role of body segment parameters in joint coordination to achieve task demands.

Related publications

L. Biryukova and B. Bril (under revision) Goal oriented action. From function to movement: the case of stone knapping in India. Motor Control.