Tracing Prehistoric Social Networks through Technology
A Diachronic Perspective on the Aegean
Edited by Ann Brysbaert
Routledge – 2012 – 216 pages
Series: Routledge Studies in Archaeology
This volume investigates smaller and larger networks of contacts within and across the Aegean and nearby regions, covering periods from the Neolithic until Classical times (6000–323 BC). It explores the world of technologies, crafts and archaeological 'left-overs' in order to place social and technological networks in their larger economic and political contexts. By investigating ways of production, transport/distribution, and consumption, this book covers a chronologically large period in order to expand our understanding of wider cultural developments inside the geographical boundaries of the Aegean and its regions of contact in the east Mediterranean.
This book brings together scholars’ expertise in a variety of different fields ranging from historical archaeology (using textual evidence), archaeometry, geoarchaeology, experimental work, archaeobotany, and archaeozoology. Chapters in this volume study and contextualize archaeological remains and explore networks of crafts-people, craft traditions, or people who employed various technologies to survive. Central questions in this context are how and why traditions, techniques, and technologies change or remain stable, or where and why cross-cultural boundaries developed and disintegrated.
Introduction. Tracing Social Networks through Studying Technologies. Ann Brysbaert 1. Disentangling Neolithic Networks: Ground Stone Technology, Material Engagements and Networks of Action. Christina Tsoraki 2. ‘Thou Shall Make Many Images of thy Gods’. A Chaîne Opératoire Approach to Mycenaean Religious Rituals Based on Iconographic and Contextual Analyses of Plaster and Terracotta Figures. Melissa Vetters 3. Technologies of Sound across Aegean Crafts and Mediterranean Cultures. Manolis Mikrakis 4. A War of Words: Comparing the Performative Cross-Craft Interaction of Physical Violence and Oral Expression in the Mycenaean World. Katherine Harrell 5. Ke-ra-me-u or Ke-ra-me-ja? Evidence for Sex, Age, and Division of Labor among Mycenaean Ceramicists. Julie Hruby 6. Links of Clay in Neolithic Greece: the Case of Platia Magoula Zarkou. Areti Pentedeka 7. Storage Technologies as Embedded Social Practices: Studying Pithos Storage in Prehistoric Northern Greece. Despina Margomenou and Maria Roumpou 8. Aegean Bronze Age Weights, Chaînes Opératoires, and the Detecting of Patterns through Statistical Analyses. Jari Pakkanen 9. Business as Usual: Cypriot Demand for Aegean Pottery during the Late Bronze Age. Angelos Papadopoulos 10. Technologies of Re-using and Recycling in the Aegean and Beyond. Ann Brysbaert
Ann Brysbaert holds an MA and PhD in Archaeology, and a BSc (Hons) in Archaeological Conservation. She has conducted fieldwork in Greece, U.K., Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Syria, Israel, and Egypt both as archaeologist and as archaeological conservator. She currently holds an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Fellowship at the University of Heidelberg, Institut für Ur-und Frühgeschichte und Vorderasiatische Archäologie.
Together with colleagues from Leicester, Glasgow and Exeter she received a 5-year research grant from the Leverhulme Trust for an innovating interdisciplinary project called ‘Tracing Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond’. She is especially interested in looking at ancient technologies and materials from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining archaeometric work with social theoretical approaches. She regularly publishes on the theme of painted plaster, cross-craft interaction and craft specialisation, and material culture.