Craft Theory in Prehistory: Case Studies from the Mesolithic of Britain and Ireland

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Abstract

This paper reflects critically on the use of the term ‘craft’ within prehistoric archaeology and its recent rise to prominence within a variety of analytical contexts. Having briefly evaluated the way in which prehistorians employ craft, it moves on to consider the potential value that Craft Theory, a growing interdisciplinary body of literature relating to practices of making, might hold for thinking about prehistoric material culture within an archaeological context. Three case studies originating from Mesolithic Britain and Ireland are used as a vehicle to explore some of this potential in practice, before a broader discussion reflects on these initial efforts and sketches out other areas of interest for future research. The picture which emerges from this discussion is one of promise, within which prehistorians simultaneously draw from, and contribute towards, the ongoing interdisciplinary debates on craft in contemporary society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-176
JournalProceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Volume85
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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