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By Heather Margaret-Louise Miller

Designed for upper-division undergraduate and graduate point archaeology scholars taking classes in old applied sciences, archaeological craft construction, fabric tradition, the heritage of expertise, archaeometry, and box tools. this article may also function a common creation 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 monetary, social, political, and formality nation-states of the previous. This booklet summarizes the present country of historical know-how reports by way of emphasizing methodologies, a few significant applied sciences, and the questions and concerns that force archaeologists of their attention of those applied sciences. It exhibits 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, no longer the philosophical.
* Compares the variety of pre-industrial applied sciences, from stone device creation, fiber crafts, wooden and bone operating, fired clay crafts, steel construction, and glass manufacture
* comprises socially contextualized case experiences, in addition to normal descriptions of technological processes
* Discusses crucial terminology (technology, fabric tradition, chaîne opératoire, etc.), essentially from the point of view of the way those phrases are utilized by archaeologists

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This concern with sample representativeness extends to all aspects of archaeology, especially but not exclusively when using statistical methods of analysis (Banning 2000; Carr 1985; Drennan 1996; Shennan 1997; see Sharer and Ashmore 2003 for an introductory overview). Other debates have centered around the meaning of classifications, whether these categories are all necessarily “artificial” or “etic” categories imposed by archaeologists, or whether it is also possible to discover “natural” or “emic” categories—that is, categories employed by the people who actually made or used these objects.

All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. -L. Miller: Archaeological Approaches to Technology are borrowed or adapted from a wide range of other disciplines. As in archaeological research in general, technological studies often employ collaboration with specialists in other fields, including conservators, art historians, chemists, material scientists, architects, engineers, botanists, geologists, miners, artists, and other modern craftspeople. Like the imaginative detective work of Sherlock Holmes, archaeological methods involve long and tedious studies of minutiae, extensive collections of odd reference materials, and personal immersion in a person’s work and life.

The nature of these classifications has generated tremendous debate in archaeology. -L. Miller: Archaeological Approaches to Technology statistical issues of representativeness (Banning 2002). This concern with sample representativeness extends to all aspects of archaeology, especially but not exclusively when using statistical methods of analysis (Banning 2000; Carr 1985; Drennan 1996; Shennan 1997; see Sharer and Ashmore 2003 for an introductory overview). Other debates have centered around the meaning of classifications, whether these categories are all necessarily “artificial” or “etic” categories imposed by archaeologists, or whether it is also possible to discover “natural” or “emic” categories—that is, categories employed by the people who actually made or used these objects.

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