Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Technological Studies in Archaeological Science

  • Sarah U. WissemanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_328


Technological studies are concerned with many of the big questions of archaeology: Who made the objects we find? What materials did ancient people use? Where did they obtain their raw materials, and how did they craft pottery, stone tools, buildings, clothing, and other useful items? How did they communicate technological knowledge to each other, and how and where did they trade raw materials and finished objects? Why did people value certain materials and products over others?

The extent to which scholars can answer these questions depends upon the physical evidence left behind (e.g., pottery kilns, potsherds and broken glass vessels, chert debitage, scraps of preserved textiles), the context of the finds, and the nature of historical information, if any. For example, when dealing with the Roman pottery industry in Italy, France, and Germany, scholars find stamps (Fig. 1) of potters and manufacturers and literary evidence in addition to physical pottery installations for...
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Further Reading

  1. Rice, P.M. 1987. Pottery analysis: a sourcebook. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Williams, W.S. 1994. Science in the art museum, in S. Wisseman & W. Williams (ed.) Ancient technologies and archaeological materials: 159-162. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Program on Ancient Technologies and Archaeological Materials, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Prairie Research InstituteUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA