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From Stone to Metal: the Dynamics of Technological Change in the Decline of Chipped Stone Tool Production. A Case Study from the Southern Levant (5th–1st Millennia BCE)

  • Francesca ManclossiEmail author
  • Steven A. Rosen
  • Eric Boëda
Article
  • 78 Downloads

Abstract

The shift from stone to metal has been considered one of the main technological transformations in the history of humankind. In order to observe the dynamics underlying the disappearance of chipped stone tools and their replacement with metal implements, we adopt an approach which combines two different levels of analysis. At the first, by focusing on the Southern Levant as a case study, we consider the developmental forces internal to the technology itself and the conditions favorable to the invention, spread, continuation, or disappearance of technical traits. At the second, by considering specific historical scenarios, we test the existence of general principles which guide technological changes. Flint knapping and metallurgy, and notably their relationship, are particularly appropriate to observe regularities which operate at different scales, the first one within the developmental lines of objects, techniques and technologies, and the second one within the conditions of actualization of technological facts. On the one hand, following the “rules” of technical tendencies, a techno-logic perspective allows observation of how metal cutting objects, overcoming the “limits” of knapping technology, represent the logical development of flint tools. On the other hand, the analysis of the socioeconomic contexts in which chipped stone tools were produced permits identification of regularities which conditioned changes in lithic production systems, their decline, and the final replacement with metal tools.

Keywords

Technological change Technological development Evolutionary forces Lithics Flint Metal Levant 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the former journal editors Cathy Cameron and Jim Skibo, Valentine Roux, Michael O’Brien, and the other anonymous referees whose relevant comments considerably improved an earlier draft of the paper.

Funding Information

This work was funded by the Centre de Recherche Français à Jérusalem, the Ben- Gurion University of the Negev, and the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre- La Défense.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de Recherche Français à JérusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Bible, Archaeology and Near Eastern StudiesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeershevaIsrael
  3. 3.Département d’AnthropologieUniversité de Paris Ouest Nanterre- La DéfenseNanterreFrance

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