The Times They Were a-Changing
Cultural Encounters, Social Transformations and Technological Change in Iron Age Hand-made Pottery from Mallorca (Spain)
Keywords:archaeometry, Balearic Islands, chaîne opératoire, Iron Age, pottery, technology
Locally produced pottery underwent significant changes in Iron Age Mallorca, changes that can be traced in a range of aspects of the chaîne opératoire, including raw materials, paste recipes, firing strategies and potters’ skills. This study explores technological changes in pottery production by combining a social understanding of technology and a contextual approach to historical processes involving the Balearic Islands and their indigenous inhabitants. Changes in pottery manufacturing techniques and materials are first investigated through archaeometric analysis of a large ceramic assemblage from three sites in southwest Mallorca. Secondly, the possible implications of culture contact between indigenous communities and foreign visitors for local pottery production are examined. Finally, the changes in local pottery and new ways of organising production are considered in the social context of Late Iron Age indigenous communities on the Balearic Islands. This multiple perspective relies on both external and internal factors for interpretation, and suggests diverse causes and consequences for technological change; it also highlights questions about the social organisation of production, information and knowledge transfer, learning contexts and the social value of indigenous pottery.
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