Nada Khreisheh

Department: Archaeology
Discipline: Archaeology

Project Summary

The Acquisition of Skill in Early Flaked Stone Technologies: An experimental study.

 My research is focussed on the study of a group of experimental flintknappers as they are taught how to replicate 3 early stone tool technologies - Oldowan style flaking, Acheulean handaxe and Levallois preferential flake technologies. This study is part of a wide collaborative research project, funded by the Leverhulme trust, known as the Learning to be Human Project. This project is led by Professor Bruce Bradley at the University of Exeter and involves researchers from UCL and Emory University. As a whole the project aims to use the study of skill acquistion in early stone tool technologies to give information on the cognitive processes of our early hominid ancestors. This will be based on the study of a group of 16 experimental flintknappers.


For my Phd I will be looking at the ways in which the group develop skill in the 3 main technologies that the project focusses on. I will be looking at 4 main areas in my research:

  • The role played by aptitude, teaching and practice in acquiring high-level skill in flintknapping.
  • The interplay of understanding of a task (connaissance) with physical ability to carry it out (savoir-faire) in determining skill level.
  • Whether it is possible to identify archaeological signatures of these activities.
  • How this relates to the evolution of modern human brains and intelligence.


Supervisory Team

1st Supervisor: Dr Marisa Oltean

2nd Supervisor: Professor Bruce Bradley

Wider Research Interests

  • Skill acquisition in prehistoric crafts
  • Knapped stone technologies.
  • Technology in human evolution.
  • Experimental archaeology.
  • Learning, teaching and apprenticeship.

Authored Publications/Reports

Morgan, B., Eren, M.I., Khreisheh, N., Hill, G. and Bradley, B. () Clovis bipolar lithic reduction at Paleo Crossing, Ohio: a reinterpretation based on the examination of experimental replications. (Accepted), In Clovis: Current Perspectives on Technology, Chronology and Adaptations, edited by T. Jennings and A. Smallwood