Felicia De Pena

Research Interests: Transmission of knowledge, Lithic Analysis, Experimental Archaeology, Flintknapping, Southwest Asia Prehistory


My current research focuses on investigating the communities of practice surrounding the process of flintknapping and knowledge transmission at the site of Kharaneh IV in the southern Levant during the Epipaleolithic Period. By utilizing a chaîne opératoire approach to analyze the stone tool production sequences of narrow-faced blade cores at Kharaneh IV, I investigate the transmission of flintknapping knowledge among the communities of practice that utilized the site 20,000 years ago. I view the process of knowledge transmission as a dynamic set of interactions between skilled and unskilled individuals that ultimately reflect the community’s habitus regarding tools and tool making. This research helps highlight the complex social relationships of hunter-gatherer communities by investigating the social ‘rules’ created by the community, the maintenance of the practice, and changes to the practice through time.