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Innovation, production and specialization in early prehistoric copper metallurgy

  • B.S. Ottaway (a1)

Abstract

The process of the production of copper and bronze is presented in this paper as a sequential operation. Each stage of this process may influence the final product. The deconstruction of the process is a convenient way of examining each individual stage, using archaeological case studies from different places within the Old World and, where useful, ethnographic studies. The examination will focus on two aspects: innovation and specialization. It seeks to move beyond technological determinism by relating the study of technology to the context of those societies which shaped and practised it and which exercised certain choices in its execution.

Le processus de la production du cuivre et du bronze est présenté ici comme une opération continue. Chaque étape du processus peut influencer le produit final. L'analyse de ce processus, étape par étape, est donc un moyen adapté pour examiner chaque stade séparément, en utilisant des études-type archéologiques de différents endroits de l'Ancien Monde, et, au besoin, des études ethnographiques. Cette recherche se concentrera sur deux aspects: l'innovation et la spécialisation. Il faut dépasser les seules limites technologiques, c'est-à-dire situer l'étude technologique dans le contexte des sociétés qui pratiquaient et agençaient cette technologie et donc influençaient son exécution.

Zusammenfassung

Die Kupfer- und Bronzeherstellung wird in diesem Beitrag als Abfolge verschiedener Schritte dargestellt. Jeder Schritt dieses Prozesses kann das Endprodukt beeinflussen. Diese Untergliederung ist eine praktikable Möglichkeit, um unter Einbeziehung archäologischer Fallstudien aus der Alten Welt und - wo es sinnvoll erscheint - ethnographischer Untersuchungen, jeden einzelnen Abschnitt des Produktionsablaufes zu analysieren. Die Untersuchung konzentriert sich auf zwei Aspekte: Innovation und Spezialisierung. Sie versucht, über technologische Aussagen aufgrund der Beziehungen der Technologie mit dem Kontext metallverarbeitender Gesellschaften hinauszukommen.

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Innovation, production and specialization in early prehistoric copper metallurgy

  • B.S. Ottaway (a1)

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