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Title: The archaeological study of innovation : an experimental approach to the pottery wheel in Bronze Age Crete and Cyprus
Author: Jeffra, Caroline D.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 609X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2011
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Although the study of innovation within the field of archaeology has been explored in the past, it has repeatedly been highlighted that there is a dire need for the accumulation of case studies in order to explore the incentives driving innovation. These incentives, which are contextspecific, are therefore explored in Crete and Cyprus during the early periods of wheel potting. The selective acquisition of new potting skills is demonstrated chronologically through an experimental study of rotative potting techniques. In this way, the technological transition is highlighted as more complex than a binary switch from hand-building to rotative potting. By first using this information to understand the process of innovation (from an a posteriori perspective), it is possible to use more generalised archaeological data from each context to shed light on the incentives driving the innovation (taking an a priori perspective). There is broad applicability in this approach; existing frameworks for understanding innovation, which originate from a number of disciplines, are critically evaluated in light of their utility for archaeological applications, with particular regard for the case studies. This critical evaluation is employed to generate an archaeologically-specific framework which explicitly considers how innovations affect, and are affected by, individuals, intra-community relationships and intercommunity relationships. It is demonstrated that a framework of this kind is essential in overcoming the variable nature of archaeological evidence if more generalised approaches to innovation are to remain relevant to the field of archaeology. Maintaining this relevance is crucial, for archaeological evidence is representative of the long view of human material culture. This long view is the best resource for exploring innovation incentives, which remains a high priority within the broader field of innovation studies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available