W4 Archaeology in the News Post

New Archaeological method finds children were skilled ceramists during the Bronze Age

Date: May 11, 2016
Source: Lund University (sciencedaily.com)

This article is really impressive because they look archaeology from a different perspective. Instead of using scientific approach to understand archaeological remains, they analyzed them with artisanal interpretation method. This method subjectively examines human physical ability to create things regardless of the historical period, which eventually emphasizes more on the processual archaeology. They want to understand the ‘processes’ of how artifacts were made, skills involved and time taken to produce it. With this method in mind, they analyzed receptacles with fingerprints left and figured that children in the Bronze Age could be skilled ceramists. According to Katarina Botwid, a trained ceramist, it would take around 3 years to attain the level of skill apparent from some of the receptacles. I think this is really cool knowing that people living in the past, like Bronze Age, already developed these skills. Besides understanding the processes of how these artifacts are actually made, these skills also imply that the artifact (receptacles) might have been an important and vital object that they used in daily basis.

Pursuing this further, I would also be interested if this study can elaborate with cultural history approach. This way, we can observe how people skills in the past developed and if there are any variations of this type of artifact over certain period of time (diachronic).

3 thoughts on “W4 Archaeology in the News Post

  1. It definitely seems interesting because of a unique perspective at archaeology and looking more into the abilities that humans possess and analyzing it. Looking at the abilities of children based on the ceramics that were built in the past could determine that they were skilled ceramist; it not only shows that at an early age that children can do great things, but also the fact that we can understand this by analyzing a structure crafted by them shows how far we as humans have come and gives us an idea about our own potential. Overall, this was interesting to learn about the potential that children had in this field.

  2. First off, you did an amazing job of relating the article you found with the class material we have already covered!

    I am curious though, how did they know that it was children creating the ceramics? Was this just an interpretation, or do they have hard proof that, that was the case? I really like the approach that was taken in order to collect this data and create these interpretations, I think it probably created an entirely different story than what would have been interpreted by different methods. Such as, looking at it from a purely culture history approach, they might have missed the fact that it was children creating these items, and that piece of history might never have been known.

  3. Pamela, the article does sound very interesting as it opens up another approach to archaeology that we have not seen before; clearly there are many different approaches and types that are possible rather than the standard land excavations that we think of. It can be easy to assume that some artifacts were easy to create when viewed with today’s knowledge and technology, but we must remember what knowledge and tools were available at those times. Some of the methods used by these people must have been incredibly innovative at their time. The main source of existing techniques would be passed on between generations, and the rest was innovation using the resources available.

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