, Volume 49, Issue 5, pp 61–65 | Cite as

Manufacturing the American Ax: Radical technological change

  • Thomas L. Sanders
Features Archaeotechnology


The stimulus to produce an ax that would fell trees more efficiently was present throughout the 6,000 year history of iron felling axes. However, the ax did not functionally change until the end of this period. This suggests that the drive for better technology is not always enough to bring about technological change. The generative structures of technological design can only be created within the boundaries of a paradigm. In other words, technology is embedded within culturally created conceptual systems. For the more efficient American ax to be developed, both a new paradigm and a fertile social condition had to be present.


Iron Silicate American Process Holistic Arrangement Technological Grammar Electronic Material Conference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. Sanders

There are no affiliations available

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