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From Hand to HandleThe First Industrial Revolution$
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Lawrence Barham

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604715

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199604715.001.0001

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The Invention of Hafting

The Invention of Hafting

(p.177) 5 The Invention of Hafting
From Hand to Handle

Lawrence Barham

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on hafting, with particular emphasis on when, where, how, and why it was invented. On the basis of available archaeological evidence from the Middle Pleistocene, it examines what is involved in making a hafted tool and why hafting is a cognitively demanding technology. Starting with the knife, it considers the stresses that affect the components during use and which are incorporated into the design of the handle and haft. It also discusses the folk physics and chemistry behind hafting that enabled it to enhance the effectiveness of hand-held tools for cutting, adzing, scraping, and piercing. Furthermore, the chapter analyses the binders and adhesives that were integrated into the cleft haft before concluding with an assessment of the neural and cognitive implications of hafting.

Keywords:   hafting, archaeological evidence, Middle Pleistocene, knife, design, physics, chemistry, hand-held tools, binders, adhesives

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