Technology – Tradition and Innovation

This Research Priority highlights the study of material culture as a result of production and utilisation processes. We employ this approach, with no chronological restrictions, on all aspects of human behaviour that have left a mark on the archaeological remains found in the North and Baltic Sea regions.

Based on the observation that the way in which artefacts are produced and used within a community follows specific rules, which are transmitted from generation to generation, a dynamic technological approach makes it possible for us to distinguish different traditions, describe the relationship between them at any one time and follow their development over time. Our assertions become stronger when more technological strands are involved, i.e. technological observations of several fields of activity within a tradition. The analytical categories chaîne opératoire and schéma opératoire denote the reconstructed sequence of actions employed in making an artefact, as a combination of specific methods and techniques or as overall concepts. At the same time, we can draw conclusions about the intended purpose of these concepts. We investigate the whole process, from the choice of the raw material for an artefact to the disposal of the artefact after use, whereby our observations are routinely inspired and tested by practical experiments.

This Research Priority is assigned to the Strategic Research Area Man and Artefact