Archaeology, History and Science: Integrating Approaches to Ancient Materials

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Marcos Martinón-Torres, Thilo Rehren
Left Coast Press, 31 մյս, 2009 թ. - 218 էջ
Using a combination of historical, archaeological, and scientific data is not an uncommon research practice. Rarely found, however, is a more overt critical consideration of how these sources of information relate to each other, or explicit attempts at developing successful strategies for interdisciplinary work. The authors in this volume provide such critical perspectives, examining materials from a wide range of cultures and time periods to demonstrate the added value of combining in their research seemingly incompatible or even contradictory sources. Case studies include explorations of the symbolism of flint knives in ancient Egypt, the meaning of cuneiform glass texts, medieval metallurgical traditions, and urban archaeology at industrial sites. This volume is noteworthy, as it offers novel contributions to specific topics, as well as fundamental reflections on the problems and potentials of the interdisciplinary study of the human past.

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1 Why Should Archaeologists Take History and Science Seriously?
The Ideology of Flint Knives in Ancient Egypt
A Question of Meaning
4 Pliny on Roman Glassmaking
5 Ptolemaic and Roman Memphis as a Production Centre
6 Theophilus and the Use of Beech Ash as a Glassmaking Alkali
Archaeology and Contemporary Texts Compared
8 Lustre Recipes for HispanoMoresque Ceramic Decoration in Muel Aragón Spain or How Much a Little Copper Weighs
European Brassmaking between Craft and Science
The Fairbank Surveyors Papers and Work on Brownfi eld Sites in Sheffield
About the Authors
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Marcos Martinon-Torres is Lecturer in Archaeological Science and Material Culture at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. With degrees in history, archaeology and archaeological science, he has a special interest in the integration of different research approaches to past materials and technologies, and the way in which these inform about human theories, perceptions and actions. Most of his research has focused on medieval and post-medieval metallurgy and crucible technology, with a strong emphasis on the study of alchemical and metallurgical laboratories, and the processing of noble metals. He is also interested in the transfer of material culture and ideas between indigenous peoples and Europeans in colonial contexts. He currently works in projects in Europe, America and China.Thilo Rehren is Professor for Archaeological Materials and Technologies at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. His academic background includes a first degree and PhD in mineralogy and petrology, and a habilitation in archaeometallurgy. He is particularly interested in reconstructing high-temperature production processes for metals and glass, and the interplay between natural, system-driven aspects of technology and the role of human choice and activity in mastering past technologies. He has worked extensively on a range of metals, specifically lead and silver smelting, silver refining, crucible technology in general, Islamic crucible steel production, Roman zinc and Roman and medieval brass making, and early platinum, tin and tungsten production. More recently, he has jointly with Edgar Pusch identified the first firm evidence for Egyptian glass making, at Qantir-Pi-Ramesse in the Nile Delta. He is editor of the Journal of Archaeological Science, and currently serves as the president of the Society for Archaeological Sciences.

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