The Power of Technology in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean - The Case of the Painted Plaster (Volume 12) - Ann Brysbaert

The Power of Technology in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean - The Case of the Painted Plaster (Volume 12) - Ann Brysbaert

The Power of Technology, Knowledge and Social Agency

The Power of Technology in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean - The Case of the Painted Plaster (Volume 12) - Ann Brysbaert

Ann Brysbaert [+-]
University of Leiden
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Ann Brysbaert is Professor of Ancient Technologies, Materials and Crafts and Principle Investigator of the ERC SETinSTONE project (Leiden University, 2015-2020). Previously, she has been PI of one of the sub-projects of “Tracing Networks” (Leicester University, 2008-2013). Her main research interests are linked to pre-industrial technologies, materials and social practices, painted plaster, pyrotechnological and relating crafts, and combining material culture with landscape approaches in economies of building. Apart from her monograph (2008: Power of Technology in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. The Case of Painted Plaster. Monographs in Mediterranean Archaeology 12.London: Equinox Press), her recent publications include five edited volumes on these themes. The most recent two are: Constructing Monuments, Perceiving Monumentality and the Economics of Building. Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Built Environment. Leiden: Sidestone Press (2018: edited with V. Klinkenberg, A. Gutièrrez Garcia-M. and I. Vikatou); and Building BIG – Constructing Economies: from Design to Long-Term Impact of Large-Scale Building Projects. Heidelberg: Propylaeum (in press: edited with J. Pakkanen).

Description

This chapter discusses existing ideas and theories about what technology is, how it is interwoven with human action and how the concept of the chaîne opératoire aids in demonstrating this relation between technology and human action. It discusses and looks into who artisans were, how they were organized in pre-industrial societies, and what their social identities may have been. It also touches upon the advantages and disadvantages of applying modern concepts to past societies, concepts such as ‘parttime’ versus ‘full-time’ labour, and being ‘attached’ or ‘independent’ as a worker. Since the main focus of this book is on painted plaster, and technology is another focus, here is the appropriate place to familiarize ourselves with some basic relevant terminology relating to the technology of painted plaster (see also the glossary). Furthermore, all consecutive steps of paintings on plaster are sketched here. Finally, some definitions relating to a social approach to technology will elucidate both social and technological aspects encountered when focusing on ancient technologies as an all-encompassing concept (on why I consider definitions methodologically necessary here, see Costin 2005: 1078-79). Apart from the definitions, this chapter is divided into several more sections for clarity. The way that these sections overlap and link is meant to reflect how people are really central to this discussion and how they form the connector throughout. Human agency, in fact, weaves this chapter together.

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Citation

Brysbaert, Ann. The Power of Technology, Knowledge and Social Agency. The Power of Technology in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean - The Case of the Painted Plaster (Volume 12). Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 15-44 Jan 2009. ISBN 9781781792537. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=22588. Date accessed: 27 Sep 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.22588. Jan 2009

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