This presentation will attempt to demonstrate that lithic technology is a powerful method to highlight the social structure and economic organisation of the first farmers in North-western Europe. The analytical concept, the chaîne opératoire, allows to study the spatial and temporal segmentation of the knapping process. Furthermore, the experimental dataset offers strong criteria to analyse the knapper’s level of know-how. Therefore, the method can lead to decipher the production unit’s organisation, the raw material circulation networks and the technical identity of the knappers.
As an example of application, the lecture will focus on the first farmers of Northern France and Belgium, asking in this regard if the different groups adopted the same organisation of lithic production and how it can bring data on the degree of specialisation of the producers. Then, we will focus on the mobility, interactions and transmission of technical know-how within the different communities.