Technology and innovation in Chalcolithic Anatolia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This article discusses the role of technology and technological innovation in Anatolia during the Chalcolithic period. Traditional approaches often hold technological developments to represent driving forces for change in the economic and social sectors of society. This contribution investigates this claim considering three key technologies: copper metallurgy, the textile industry and the production of storable dairy products. In all three cases, a similar pattern of development can be seen: an early phase of low-intensity engagement with these materials (7th & 6th millennia BC), followed by a further phase of low-intensity use during which more systematic solutions of production were developed (5th millennium BC). At the end of the 5th millennium, at the beginning of the Late Chalcolithic period, we can observe a profound shift in this pattern signified by a sudden increase of evidence for all three technologies in the archaeological record. This situation was neither accompanied by an increase in social complexity nor did the adoption of these technologies result in systematic surplus production. It is more likely that the interest in these material was caused by new social strategies which aimed to generate personal prestige within a society which was still structured along largely egalitarian principles. The paper concludes that it is mistaken to assume unchanging social and economic functions for pre-industrial technologies. The role of technologies could vary strongly depending on the social requirements of the practising societies.
Translated title of the contributionTechnology and innovation in Chalcolithic Anatolia
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationInnovation versus Beharrung
Subtitle of host publicationWas macht den Unterschied des hethitischen Reichs im Anatolien des 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr.?
EditorsAndreas Schachner
Place of PublicationIstanbul
PublisherEge Yayınları, Istanbul
Pages1-19
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9786059680394
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Publication series

NameByzas
PublisherDeutsches Archäologisches Institut Istanbul
Volume23

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