Transformative technologies: ground stone tool biographical changes and early metal use in Cyprus

  • Ellon M. Souter (University of Manchester)
  • Date 5 April 2018 Time
  • Address Van Steenis Building Einsteinweg 2 2333 CC Leiden

What happens to traditional technologies as novel, and assumedly better, materials and methods are introduced? How are transformations in these technologies bound up in the formation and negotiation of new social relations?

A wide range of changes occur over the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age periods in Cyprus. Key among these are the introduction of metal and its subsequent intensification. Ground stone tools are abundant on sites of this time period, they are reported to change as new metal types are introduced and have also been related to various stages in metal-working. Their close analysis, therefore, has the potential to shed light on the above questions, yet their social role is rarely explored.

This study focuses on ground stone tools from secure settlement contexts. Central to this research are two sites in western Cyprus; Kissonerga-Mosphilia and Kissonerga-Skalia. Together they represent continuous settlement in this locale over the period of early metal use on the Island (3500-1600BC). Comparative sites were also drawn upon, including Chalcolithic Chlorakas-Palloures. Analysis concentrated on identifying and sequencing different forms of wear, as well as tying objects back to their context of recovery. This methodology was designed to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the relationships that existed between crafter and crafted, user and tool, through the objects life history. Some preliminary results, specifically from the Kissonerga dataset, are presented in this paper.