Workshop 2005

The study of Technology as a method to gain social and cultural insight into Prehistory

A workshop arranged by SILA - the Greenland Research Centre at the National Museum of Denmark.

2.-3. November 2005

This workshop will gather young archaeologists using the study of Technology as primary methodology in their studies, in order to discuss issues and problems concerning methods, results and perspectives of this methodology.

The idea of the workshop stems from the fact that there today is a strong new trend towards applying the study of technology, among a young generation of archaeologists. This trend focuses on the understanding of the material process, - and see these processes as logical responses and changes reflecting human behaviour and cognition. Thus, in some ways, this trend is in opposition to former studies of artefacts, such as typology that focuses on the static view of artefact types ranging them in classifications without considering processes, material and cognitive.

The workshop will take place during two days at the National Museum of Copenhagen. 14 persons will present a case. Each person will use a Technology approach to come beyond questions regarding the material understanding, - and to present a social or cultural interpretation. The case study can consider any subject, material or time period, but there has to be a clear focus on methodology. Each presentation will have a flexible time frame around ½ - 1 hour, including a discussion. The workshop will also be attended by a limited number of researchers from SILA and University of Copenhagen, who will mainly participate in the discussions.

The persons invited will all be archaeologists, from different geographical regions and affiliated to different institutions (Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark). The formal language will be English.

In sharing views and ideas, we hope that this workshop will enhance the collaboration between archaeologists of a new generation, and that it will influence positively the direction of future archaeological research.

Following the results of the workshop, the organizers and the participants will discuss the potential of the presentations and the concluding remarks to recommend its publication as an edited volume.

NB. If you have special interest in studying collections from the National Museum of Denmark or from the University of Copenhagen, Palaeo-Eskimo or Danish Palaeolithic/Mesolithic, this can be arranged in connection with your participation (in the days before or after the workshop).

On behalf of Mikkel Sørensen (PhD-candidate, SILA/University of Copenhagen) and Pierre M. Desrosiers (PhD-candidate, Avataq Cultural Institute/ Université Paris1)


Read about the publication Technology in Archaeology Proceedings from the SILA Workshop: The study of Technology as a method for gaining insight into social and cultural aspects of Prehistory.

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