A Case for the One-offs: Improvisation and Innovation Within a Copper Age Potting Community
Cambridge Archaeological Journal
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Kohring, S. (2016). A Case for the One-offs: Improvisation and Innovation Within a Copper Age Potting Community. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 26 (3), 513-526. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774316000202
Unique objects are often poorly integrated into discussions about the social organization of production or technological processes. Often they are frustratingly interpreted as ritual or prestige objects, or they are simply consigned to footnotes in archaeological reports. This does not do them justice and their contextualization may provide greater insight into the social factors involved in production activities. This paper attempts to demonstrate what unique, or one-off, objects can tell us about technological systems and how improvisational technical choices can lead to innovation within society. It focuses on a particular example of pottery production and usage at the Copper Age site of San Blas (Spain) and how two particular vessels on the surface appear to be unique one-off products. This paper shows that one-off objects may in fact be opening the door to innovation through acts of improvisation within existing socially sanctioned production aesthetics and object ideals.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959774316000202
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/255047