Session: #192

Theme & Session Format

1. Networks, networking, communication: archaeology of interactions
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Craft Networking in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic through Analyses of Ceramic Technological Traits
Past studies of ceramic craft networks focussed mainly on typological and stylistic traits. In recent decades, however, researchers have been able to study the ceramic chaîne opératoire in detail, and detect technological transmission of knowledge. Increasing use of archaeometric techniques [e.g. polarised microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Raman, X-ray diffraction, trace element analyses], together with GIS and anthropological methods, allow individual and collective choices to be recognised.
The craft network is an essential tool to understand how knowledge is transferred. Patterns of technological and stylistic choices underpin archaeological ‘cultures’, and suggest links between individuals located far apart. Knowledge networks are embedded in this process and entangled with the production of material culture.
Studying the chaîne opératoire is essential to understanding where innovations emerged, and how they spread and interacted with local traditions. Shared technological knowledge implies shared values. Cross-cultural consensus emerges on what constitute culturally accepted ceramic products, even if these objects were conceptualised and valued very differently.
This session focusses on craft network and technological tradition patterns in Eurasia in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic. Presentations should consider how communities adapt to and adopt new ceramic traditions through knowledge transfers and exchange networks and how exchange was embedded in social relations.
Craft networking, Change and innovation, Ceramic chaine operatoire, Technological traditions/Knowledge transfer, Neolithic/Chalcolithic, Eurasia
Session associated with MERC:
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Main organiser:
Michela Spataro (United Kingdom) 1
Attila Kreiter (Hungary) 2
1. The British Museum, London
2. Hungarian National Museum, Budapest