chapter  4
12 Pages

Invention, Thought, and Process: Strategies in Iron Tool Production

Archaeologistsfrequentlystudythetechnologicalsystemsandproductsofpastpopulationstounderstandtheequipment,adaptation, oreconomicsofthesegroups,ortousetheartifactcomplexesas ethnicmarkersorindicatorsofchronologicalhorizons.Inspiteofthe factthatmillionsofartifactshavebeenexcavated,described,and analyzed,informationabouthowtheywereproducedisoftenlackingorlimitedtothemoresuperficialfeaturesofthepieces.Materials analysis,theuseofethnographicandhistoricalaccountsoftheproductionofsimilarartifacts,andtheexperimentalreplicationofspecificartifactsareallvalidanalyticalapproaches,buttheyoftentreat theartifactoutofcontext.Aspecificproceduremaybeinterpretedin isolationratherthanviewedastheresultofasystemofchoicesmade bytheartisan.Thesechoicesdependonfactorssuchastheraw materials,equipment,andknowledgeavailabletotheartisan.