Opendata, web and dolomites


Cutting edge technology: understanding Palaeolithic stone tool design and use from a modern mechanical engineering perspective

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "EDGE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAPENBURG 70
city: LEIDEN
postcode: 2311 EZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 253˙052 €
 EC max contribution 253˙052 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-GF
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-06-01   to  2023-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN NL (LEIDEN) coordinator 253˙052.00


 Project objective

For over 3 million years, stone tools were central to the survival of hominins (fossil and modern humans). Their ability to cut, pierce and scrape materials opened new ecological niches, facilitated exploitation of novel resources, and allowed hominins to survive in hostile environments. Accordingly, there were strong pressures for stone tools to be effective, reliable, durable, and efficient. Modern cutting tools are produced according to similar principles and there is >80 years of research dedicated to designing mechanically-optimised tools and understanding the principles of cutting. However, Palaeolithic stone technologies have yet to be investigated with similar mechanical or theoretical rigour.

EDGE will integrate advanced engineering analytical techniques, principles and design theory with large-scale archaeological experiments to investigate how the morphology, microgeometry, and raw material choice of stone cutting tools influences their performance and fracture mechanics. In archaeological firsts, EDGE includes controlled cutting tests, empirical analyses of stone tool sharpness, and finite element analysis (FEA) of cutting processes. Palaeolithic artefacts will be examined to assess whether our hominin ancestors actually designed mechanically-optimised tools, or, alternatively, whether other factors (e.g. cultural variation) underlie the tool type, form and raw material variability observed across the Palaeolithic archaeological record.

The ground breaking nature of EDGE is its integration of advanced engineering techniques and principles with archaeological experiments and artefact analyses to address fundamental questions concerning early human behaviour. Results will provide a fundamental shift in how functional archaeological experiments are performed, establish fracture mechanics theory and FEA within archaeological research, and present a robust mechanically defined framework necessary for understanding artefact variation across the Palaeolithic.

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The information about "EDGE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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lastchecktime (2022-05-19 4:54:51) correctly updated