A variety of mechanical head forms is used today in the evaluation of the crashworthiness of automotive interiors and the effectiveness of helmet designs. Most head forms are of a very rigid metallic construction, although frangible head forms that indicate skull fracture are presently available. None of the existing head forms can be considered a complete mechanical analog to the human head in terms of mechanical response. This paper describes the initial phases of the development of such a head form.The first step in the development of the model was the determination of the pertinent mechanical properties of the tissues of the human head (scalp, skull bone, dura mater, and brain). A testing program which determined these properties at both static and dynamic strain rates is described and the results are summarized.The second phase of the program was to find and develop synthetic materials which duplicated the mechanical properties of the human tissues. Many materials were investigated, and modifications to existing materials were made. The synthetic materials were tested by the same methods used in the human tissue tests. Results comparing the synthetic materials with their human tissue counterparts are given.Proposed simple precursor models are described, and a discussion of future, more complex models is given, along with the specific types of head injury phenomena that the model will be required to simulate.