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Title: Innovation and technological change in the archaeological record : conceptual design in Mediterranean maritime technology from the archaic to late antiquity
Author: Campbell, Peter Bryson
ISNI:       0000 0004 6347 6196
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis argues for an empirical approach to the study of innovation. Innovation has traditionally been approached as qualitative and therefore not identifiable in the archaeological record. The author uses engineering’s principles of conceptual design to argue that fundamental technical concepts differentiate technologies and the level to which a new concept is dissimilar to previous concepts determines its level of innovation. By defining an innovation as the creation of a new conceptual design framework, the thesis explores an empirical view of innovation and how the creation and transfer of design concepts can be quantified and mapped. In the past, mechanisms for technological change have been adapted to culture from determinism or natural analogies such as evolution. This thesis argues that, as conceptual designs, the most valid mechanism originates from social theories relating to the creation and transfer of concepts. The author introduces Technology‐as‐Concept as a means to explain the creation and transfer of design concepts as found in the archaeological record. This approach is applied to three maritime technologies found in the Mediterranean that date from the Archaic Period through Late Antiquity: anchors, warship rams, and ships’ hulls. Through identifying conceptual design traits in archaeological remains and interpreting the creation and spread of innovations, the findings challenge the current chronologies for these technologies. The thesis discusses how Technology as‐Concept is a useful method for archaeology. It challenges cultural evolution and determinism as means for explaining technological change and demonstrates the explanatory ability of the latest social approaches. Finally, it argues for an empirical approach to innovation and the ability to identify innovation in the archaeological record.
Supervisor: Blue, Lucy ; Keay, Simon ; Turnock, Stephen ; Whitewright, Richard ; Croudace, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available