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Innovation and technological change in the archaeological record: conceptual design in Mediterranean maritime technology from the archaic to late antiquity

Innovation and technological change in the archaeological record: conceptual design in Mediterranean maritime technology from the archaic to late antiquity
Innovation and technological change in the archaeological record: conceptual design in Mediterranean maritime technology from the archaic to late antiquity
This thesis argues for an empirical approach to the study of innovation. Innovation has traditionally been approached as qualitative and therefore not identifiable in the archaeological record. The author uses engineering’s principles of conceptual design to argue that fundamental technical concepts differentiate technologies and the level to which a new concept is dissimilar to previous concepts determines its level of innovation. By defining an innovation as the creation of a new conceptual design framework, the thesis explores an empirical view of innovation and how the creation and transfer of design concepts can be quantified and mapped. In the past, mechanisms for technological change have been adapted to culture from determinism or natural analogies such as evolution. This thesis argues that, as conceptual designs, the most valid mechanism originates from social theories relating to the creation and transfer of concepts.

The author introduces Technology‐as‐Concept as a means to explain the creation and transfer of design concepts as found in the archaeological record. This approach is applied to three maritime technologies found in the Mediterranean that date from the Archaic Period through Late Antiquity: anchors, warship rams, and ships’ hulls. Through identifying conceptual design traits in archaeological remains and interpreting the creation and spread of innovations, the findings challenge the current chronologies for these technologies. The thesis discusses how Technology as‐Concept is a useful method for archaeology. It challenges cultural evolution and determinism as means for explaining technological change and demonstrates the explanatory ability of the latest social approaches. Finally, it argues for an empirical approach to innovation and the ability to identify innovation in the archaeological record.
University of Southampton
Campbell, Peter, Bryson
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Campbell, Peter, Bryson
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Blue, Lucy
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Keay, Simon
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Turnock, Stephen
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Whitewright, Richard
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Croudace, Ian
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Campbell, Peter, Bryson (2017) Innovation and technological change in the archaeological record: conceptual design in Mediterranean maritime technology from the archaic to late antiquity. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 176pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This thesis argues for an empirical approach to the study of innovation. Innovation has traditionally been approached as qualitative and therefore not identifiable in the archaeological record. The author uses engineering’s principles of conceptual design to argue that fundamental technical concepts differentiate technologies and the level to which a new concept is dissimilar to previous concepts determines its level of innovation. By defining an innovation as the creation of a new conceptual design framework, the thesis explores an empirical view of innovation and how the creation and transfer of design concepts can be quantified and mapped. In the past, mechanisms for technological change have been adapted to culture from determinism or natural analogies such as evolution. This thesis argues that, as conceptual designs, the most valid mechanism originates from social theories relating to the creation and transfer of concepts.

The author introduces Technology‐as‐Concept as a means to explain the creation and transfer of design concepts as found in the archaeological record. This approach is applied to three maritime technologies found in the Mediterranean that date from the Archaic Period through Late Antiquity: anchors, warship rams, and ships’ hulls. Through identifying conceptual design traits in archaeological remains and interpreting the creation and spread of innovations, the findings challenge the current chronologies for these technologies. The thesis discusses how Technology as‐Concept is a useful method for archaeology. It challenges cultural evolution and determinism as means for explaining technological change and demonstrates the explanatory ability of the latest social approaches. Finally, it argues for an empirical approach to innovation and the ability to identify innovation in the archaeological record.

Text
Innovation and Technological Change in the Archaeological Record: Conceptual Design in Mediterranean Maritime Technology from the Archaic to Late Antiquity - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 June 2020.
Available under License University of Southampton Thesis Licence.
Text
Innovation and Technological Change in the Archaeological Record: Conceptual Design in Mediterranean Maritime Technology from the Archaic to Late Antiquity - Other
Restricted to Repository staff only

More information

Published date: March 2017
Organisations: University of Southampton, Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 411865
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/411865
PURE UUID: b5619f8f-f839-455e-907d-27a781286aa6
ORCID for Stephen Turnock: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6288-0400

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Jun 2017 16:31
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 01:55

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Contributors

Author: Peter, Bryson Campbell
Thesis advisor: Lucy Blue
Thesis advisor: Simon Keay
Thesis advisor: Stephen Turnock ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Richard Whitewright
Thesis advisor: Ian Croudace

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