Session: #518

Theme & Session Format

6. Material culture studies and societies
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Worth the Effort: Evidence of Prehistoric Cross-Craft Interactions
This session aims to stimulate a discussion on the theoretical and methodological premises for identification of cross-craft interactions. The latter will be considered in the context of various technical, technological and social developments in the Neolithic communities.
Finding evidence of the links between various prehistoric technologies is not always straightforward. However, it is probable that the highly-skilled and practical artisans would have saved their time and efforts in all possible ways, and at each stage of the production chain.
This may have referred to: (a) the coincidental use of the same raw-materials to make various categories of artefacts and decorations, (b) the specific techniques applied at different stages of the chaîne opératoire based on transferred knowledge and skills, (c) the successful approaches borrowed from other productions’ technological cycles, (d) the
handling of synchronous and common (firing) events for various objects production, amongst others. Yet, in so many cases, there is still a question to be resolved: how genuine cross-craft interactions could be detected?
The transfer of materials between different production cycles in prehistoric times is a well-known practice worldwide – e.g. figurines made of stone tools debitage, small finds made by application of specific architectural techniques; puncture approaches adopted from older technologies and adapted to new materials, etc. However, how we interpret these - as evidence of practicality, as results from technology transfer or as direct indicators of cross-technologies needs further debate.
We welcome papers and posters concerned with the detection of the interplay between different prehistoric techniques and technologies based on various raw-materials (e.g. clay, bone, flint, marble, organic materials, etc.), that explore cross-craft interactions in prehistoric context.
cross-craft interactions, technology transfer, prehistory
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
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Main organiser:
Tanya Dzhanfezova (United Kingdom) 1
Małgorzata Grębska-Kulow (Bulgaria) 2
1. University of Oxford, UK
2. Regional Historical Museum - Blagoevgrad, BG