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Julia A. Hendon
President and Fellows of Harvard College (Gettysburg, PA 17325-1483)
Archaeological Studies of Technology as a Social Process

Summer reading and writing on Archaeology, History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine.

How can we understand technology from a humanistic perspective? My book answers this question by focusing on the craftswomen and craftsmen who worked in ancient societies. My previous work on Aztec and Maya weaving traditions and my own experiences as a weaver using the same kinds of looms and tools have brought home to me the importance of looking at crafting from the perspective of the practitioners themselves. Rather than assuming that technology is best defined as the application of scientific principles to practical uses, I employ a definition of technology that is better suited for humanists working in historical and non-Western contexts: technology as a set of relationships among people and between people and the materials with which they work. I illustrate my argument with four case studies, weaving, Roman pottery production, Moche metal-working, and glass-blowing in Israel during the Byzantine era.

Project fields:
Archaeology; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; History, Other

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015