Detecting and explaining technological innovation in prehistory

Edited by Michela Spataro & Martin Furholt | Forthcoming

Detecting and explaining technological innovation in prehistory

Edited by Michela Spataro & Martin Furholt | Forthcoming

ISBN: 9789088908248

Imprint: Sidestone Press Academics | Format: 210x280mm | ca. 250 pp. | Scales of Transformation 08 | Series: Scales of Transformation | Language: English | 22 illus. (bw) | 37 illus. (fc) | Keywords: archaeology; prehistory; technology; innovation; invention; tradition; chaîne opératoire; knowledge acquisition; knowledge transfer; Neolithic; Bronze Age; Iron Age; ethnography; ceramic; metal; bone | download cover

Publication date: 19-12-2019

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    ISBN: 9789088908248

    Imprint: Sidestone Press Academics | Format: 210x280mm | ca. 250 pp. | Scales of Transformation 08 | Series: Scales of Transformation | Language: English | 22 illus. (bw) | 37 illus. (fc) | Keywords: archaeology; prehistory; technology; innovation; invention; tradition; chaîne opératoire; knowledge acquisition; knowledge transfer; Neolithic; Bronze Age; Iron Age; ethnography; ceramic; metal; bone | download cover

    Publication date: 19-12-2019

Technology refers to any set of standardised procedures for transforming raw materials into finished products. Innovation consists of any change in technology which has tangible and lasting effect on human practices, whether or not it provides utilitarian advantages. Prehistoric societies were never static, but the tempo of innovation occasionally increased to the point that we can refer to transformation taking place. Prehistorians must therefore identify factors promoting or hindering innovation.

This volume stems from an international workshop, organised by the Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation’ at Kiel University in November 2017. The meeting challenged its participants to detect and explain technological change in the past and its role in transformation processes, using archaeological and ethnographic case studies. The papers draw mainly on examples from prehistoric Europe, but case-studies from Iran, the Indus Valley, and contemporary central America are also included. The authors adopt several perspectives, including cultural-historical, economic, environmental, demographic, functional, and agent-based approaches.

These case studies often rely on interdisciplinary research, whereby field archaeology, archaeometric analysis, experimental archaeology and ethnographic research are used together to observe and explain innovations and changes in the artisan’s repertoire. The results demonstrate that interdisciplinary research is becoming essential to understanding transformation phenomena in prehistoric archaeology, superseding typo-chronological description and comparison.

This book is a scholarly publication aimed at academic researchers, particularly archaeologists and archaeological scientists working on ceramics, osseous and metal artefacts.

Preface
Michela Spataro

Introduction
Michela Spataro and Martin Furholt

Understanding the acceptance of innovative technical skills across time. Ethnographic and theoretical insights from Latin America
Dean E. Arnold

Innovation or inheritance? Assessing the social mechanisms underlying ceramic technological change in early Neolithic pottery assemblages in Central Europe
Louise Gomart, Alexandra Anders, Attila Kreiter, Tibor Marton, Krisztián Oross and Pál Raczky

Changes in the pottery production of the Linear Pottery Culture. Origins and directions of ideas
Anna Rauba-Bukowska and Agnieszka Czekaj-Zastawny

Innovations in ceramic technology in the context of culture change north of the Carpathians at the turn of the 6th and 5th millennia BC
Sławomir Kadrow

Neolithic pottery innovation in context. A model and case study from the Central and Western Balkans
Robert Hofmann

Technological innovation and social change. Early vs. late Neolithic pottery production of the Central Balkans
Jasna Vuković

Technological changes and innovations in the osseous industries in the early and late Neolithic in the Balkans
Selena Vitezović

Early wheel-made pottery in the Carpathian Basin
Szabolcs Czifra, Éva Kovács-Széles, Orsolya Viktorik, Péter Pánczél and Attila Kreiter

The onset of wheel-throwing in Middle Asia. A neolithic innovation?
Massimo Vidale

Technological Innovation. Defining terms and examining process through the talc-faience complex in the Indus Civilization
Heather Margaret-Louise Miller

Skill in high-temperature crafts. An artisanal perspective on fire
Katarina Botwid

Prof. Dr. Martin Furholt

Martin Furholt is Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo, Norway. Before he was working as Research Fellow and Lecturer at the CAU Kiel. His main research interests are the social and political organisation, mobility and community composition, local and regional social networks of Neolithic and Bronze Age communities in Southeast Europe, Central Europe, and Northern Europe.

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Dr. Michela Spataro

Michela Spataro is a scientist in the department of Scientific Research at the British Museum (London, UK). Previously, as a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, she completed an archaeometric project on the earliest pottery from the central Balkans, the Starčevo culture. She has a degree in Literature and Philosophy and a PhD in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UK).

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Abstract:

Technology refers to any set of standardised procedures for transforming raw materials into finished products. Innovation consists of any change in technology which has tangible and lasting effect on human practices, whether or not it provides utilitarian advantages. Prehistoric societies were never static, but the tempo of innovation occasionally increased to the point that we can refer to transformation taking place. Prehistorians must therefore identify factors promoting or hindering innovation.

This volume stems from an international workshop, organised by the Collaborative Research Centre 1266 ‘Scales of Transformation’ at Kiel University in November 2017. The meeting challenged its participants to detect and explain technological change in the past and its role in transformation processes, using archaeological and ethnographic case studies. The papers draw mainly on examples from prehistoric Europe, but case-studies from Iran, the Indus Valley, and contemporary central America are also included. The authors adopt several perspectives, including cultural-historical, economic, environmental, demographic, functional, and agent-based approaches.

These case studies often rely on interdisciplinary research, whereby field archaeology, archaeometric analysis, experimental archaeology and ethnographic research are used together to observe and explain innovations and changes in the artisan’s repertoire. The results demonstrate that interdisciplinary research is becoming essential to understanding transformation phenomena in prehistoric archaeology, superseding typo-chronological description and comparison.

This book is a scholarly publication aimed at academic researchers, particularly archaeologists and archaeological scientists working on ceramics, osseous and metal artefacts.

Contents

Preface
Michela Spataro

Introduction
Michela Spataro and Martin Furholt

Understanding the acceptance of innovative technical skills across time. Ethnographic and theoretical insights from Latin America
Dean E. Arnold

Innovation or inheritance? Assessing the social mechanisms underlying ceramic technological change in early Neolithic pottery assemblages in Central Europe
Louise Gomart, Alexandra Anders, Attila Kreiter, Tibor Marton, Krisztián Oross and Pál Raczky

Changes in the pottery production of the Linear Pottery Culture. Origins and directions of ideas
Anna Rauba-Bukowska and Agnieszka Czekaj-Zastawny

Innovations in ceramic technology in the context of culture change north of the Carpathians at the turn of the 6th and 5th millennia BC
Sławomir Kadrow

Neolithic pottery innovation in context. A model and case study from the Central and Western Balkans
Robert Hofmann

Technological innovation and social change. Early vs. late Neolithic pottery production of the Central Balkans
Jasna Vuković

Technological changes and innovations in the osseous industries in the early and late Neolithic in the Balkans
Selena Vitezović

Early wheel-made pottery in the Carpathian Basin
Szabolcs Czifra, Éva Kovács-Széles, Orsolya Viktorik, Péter Pánczél and Attila Kreiter

The onset of wheel-throwing in Middle Asia. A neolithic innovation?
Massimo Vidale

Technological Innovation. Defining terms and examining process through the talc-faience complex in the Indus Civilization
Heather Margaret-Louise Miller

Skill in high-temperature crafts. An artisanal perspective on fire
Katarina Botwid

Prof. Dr. Martin Furholt

Martin Furholt is Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo, Norway. Before he was working as Research Fellow and Lecturer at the CAU Kiel. His main research interests are the social and political organisation, mobility and community composition, local and regional social networks of Neolithic and Bronze Age communities in Southeast Europe, Central Europe, and Northern Europe.

read more

Dr. Michela Spataro

Michela Spataro is a scientist in the department of Scientific Research at the British Museum (London, UK). Previously, as a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the Institute of Archaeology, she completed an archaeometric project on the earliest pottery from the central Balkans, the Starčevo culture. She has a degree in Literature and Philosophy and a PhD in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UK).

read more









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