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Technology and society : some insights on the development of metallurgy in the Southern Levant in the light of new dates of slag deposits

  • Author(s): Ben-Yosef, Erez
  • et al.
Abstract

An ongoing project for reconstructing the behavior of the geomagnetic field intensity during the last seven millennia has yielded several new dates for archaeometallurgical sites in the Southern Levant. These dates shed new light on the dawn of metallurgy in the region as well as on the quality of technological development and its relation to social and political structures. This paper introduces the methodology and concepts behind the archaeomagnetic project as well as the principles of the applied dating technique. In addition, the paper presents the archaeomagnetic results, discusses the alternative dating of several archaeometallurgical sites and explores the implication of these results on our understanding of the interaction between technology and society in the past. For the latter, the results particularly challenge the "Standard View of Technology" (Pfaffenberger, 1992), and suggest a complex, nonlinear evolution of copper industry in the Southern Levant

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