Technology and Society


Studies of Ceramics and Textiles often took center stage in the development of social complexity in early societies. These studies reflect on familiar topics, regarding consumption (technologies and materials as “things”), craft production and social identity, gender and class, social agency and technological choice. Understanding these aspects of ceramics and textiles requires an intimate knowledge of the properties of the clays and fibers with which they were produced. Several weeks of the course will be take place in the lab where we will do hands-on work with basic materials (clays and fibers) from which ceramics and textiles were constructed in order to develop a familiarity with the properties of the materials with which they were produced and the history of technical changes over time. We will also visit the studios of potters and weavers if there is time. For the remainder of the course, our goal will be to develop a solid grounding in changed views in anthropological archaeology in the understanding of the social aspects of these technologies.

The craftsperson in society; a culture-historical and functional analysis of technology in the nonindustrial world. Consideration of prehistoric and contemporary examples, problems, and technologies.

Course Information



4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Spring 2018

Rita P Wright
W: 5:00 PM - 7:45 PM 25WV 706