By Heather Margaret-Louise Miller
Designed for upper-division undergraduate and graduate point archaeology scholars taking classes in historical applied sciences, archaeological craft creation, fabric tradition, the historical past of know-how, archaeometry, and box tools. this article may also function a basic advent and a reference for archaeologists, fabric tradition experts in socio-cultural disciplines, and engineers/scientists drawn to the backgrounds and histories in their disciplines.
The examine of historical technologies-that is, the ways that gadgets and fabrics have been made and used-can exhibit insights into financial, social, political, and formality geographical regions of the prior. This e-book summarizes the present nation of old know-how experiences by way of emphasizing methodologies, a few significant applied sciences, and the questions and matters that force archaeologists of their attention of those applied sciences. It indicates the ways in which expertise stories can be utilized by way of archaeologists operating anyplace, on any kind of society and it embraces an orientation towards the sensible, now not the philosophical.
* Compares the diversity of pre-industrial applied sciences, from stone device creation, fiber crafts, wooden and bone operating, fired clay crafts, steel creation, and glass manufacture
* contains socially contextualized case reviews, in addition to common descriptions of technological processes
* Discusses crucial terminology (technology, fabric tradition, chaîne opératoire, etc.), basically from the viewpoint of the way those phrases are utilized by archaeologists
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Extra resources for Archaeological Approaches to Technology
No study of technology should neglect this step, where surface scratches can reveal hafting techniques for stone objects (Martin 1999: 96–107); uneven joins or particular types of cracks can provide clues to pottery manufacturing techniques (Rye 1981); and sizes of spindle whorls might reveal the type or fineness of thread being spun (E. W. Barber 1994; Teague 1998). Simple visual investigation of waste materials such as stone flakes or vitrified clay fragments can provide information on the techniques of production that occurred at a location.
As with Holmes’ analyses, the investigation of trifling minutiae can yield startling results, although the most exciting cases for the practitioner are not always those of greatest interest to the public. For example, when asked about “my most exciting find,” I usually mention the inscribed rim of an ancient Harappan stone vessel, face up in a muddy surface scattered with pottery sherds and other debris. Or an abandoned meal, a pit full of shellfish buried in the back of an urban alley-way some 4500 years ago.
Whether the meaning conveyed to others is the same as the original meaning intended by the maker or user is a problem, of course, but this is the case for all forms of information communication. Note that objects may be used to simultaneously record and express cultural information, a point of much discussion in the literature on material culture, as well as the archaeological literature on style, as discussed in Chapter 5. This point also pertains to a more general discussion about defining culture as information.
Archaeological Approaches to Technology by Heather Margaret-Louise Miller